Accessing peer-reviewed journals outside of the ivory tower of academe is difficult. Although understandable given the business model of journals, this stymies the dissemination of research and the guidance it can offer. Scirus offers a rather useful search of scientific terms and open access articles.
The following rather brief list reflects my own interests in education and social science; hopefully others may be able to expand this into other areas. In any case, I hope this helps a few people out.
- Academic Journals Since 2002, Academic Journals “provides free access to research information to the international community without financial, legal or technical barriers. All the journals from this organization will be freely distributed and available from multiple websites.”
- The Future of Children: A Collaboration of The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and The Brookings Institution Excellent, scholarly, balanced, creative-commons-righted reviews of issues pertaining to children and child development. Each issue presents articles focused on a given theme. A one-page summary of their mission is here. A list of the issues is here.
- What Works Clearinghouse Maintained by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, this site digests educational research for use by educators. The articles themselves are not available, but their précis are quite clear.
- eScholarship at the University of California. The main purpose of eScholarship is to be a resource for U of California-affiliated scholars, but their publication of postscripts allows some to be available to those in the general community.
- Open Educational Resources at the Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) As per their mission, CERI provides links and resources concerning publicly accessible research documents.
- The Educator’s Reference Desk “The Educator’s Reference Desk builds on over a quarter century of experience providing high-quality resources and services to the education community. From the Information Institute of Syracuse, the people who created AskERIC, the Gateway to Educational Materials, and the Virtual Reference Desk, the Educator’s Reference Desk brings you the resources you have come to depend on. 2,000+ lesson plans, 3,000+ links to online education information, and 200+ question archive responses.” Does have several dead links (maybe even as many as I have!), but does have good resources, including bazoodles of lesson plans.
- Research and Statistics from the U. S. Department of Education Includes summaries of federally-funded evaluations, statistics on educational performance (e.g., student performance in math and science, demographics on adult learners, SAT scores, etc.)