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Open Access Digital Theological Library

open book with glasses

Collections of open access materials often have different focuses. While ISU ReD focuses on the intellectual and creative output of our faculty, students, and staff, other repositories focus on specific subjects or topics. The Open Access Digital Theological Library (OADTL), for example, collects materials about religious studies and related disciplines.

The OADTL does not limit its collections on the basis of theological or confessional perspective and includes materials in thirty-one languages. All materials are fully open access, professionally cataloged, include a stable URL, and are related to religious studies. Materials are primarily books (over 198,000) and articles (over 10,000,000), but journals, databases, and research aids are also included. While materials can be searched for and are described in OADTL, not all materials are on their site. Some links lead to other libraries or even other collections such as HathiTrust, but materials on those sites should still be fully accessible.

This is an example of using open access resources from different institutions to create a subject-based collection that makes locating and accessing resources on that topic easier for patrons. By limiting items in the library to open access (content published online at no cost to the user) or public domain (content which is no longer under copyright, and is generally published before 1923), OADTL ensures patrons and researchers face fewer barriers to retrieving content than they might with materials from other publishers. At the same time allowing users to search the collections of different institutions about the topic on a single website streamlines searching and may introduce scholars to new resources.

ISU ReD is committed to lowering barriers to access in the same way, by providing full text for all items in our repository. Instead of a specific topic, ISU ReD focuses on materials on all subjects from ISU faculty, students, and staff. Authors wishing to make their own materials digitally available can often place pre-prints or even published articles in ISU ReD. If you wish to discuss these options further, for current or already published research, please contact isured@ilstu.edu.

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