I am lucky to be a student and have access to JSTOR and other online journal facilities. But those things are expensive for people who are working for institutions that don’t pay for access or people who are simply interested or trying to break into the sector.
And so I give you: the Museumsandstuff list of free, online, high-quality museum related literature. None of the websites require sign-up or logins to access at least some of their material.
Also, if you know of any glaring omissions let me know and I will add them post haste.
http://conference.archimuse.com/researchForum - Extensive collection from Archimuse “The online space for Cultural informatics”. There must be literally hundreds of papers available here.
http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/online_journals.aspx - three free, online journals from the British Museum.
http://www.vam.ac.uk/res_cons/research/index.html - V&A’s research section has an online journal, access to previous conference documentation etc, research reports, best practice reports and more.
http://www.tate.org.uk/research/tateresearch/ - Publishes a free scholarly journal about Tate’s collection and programme.
http://www.le.ac.uk/ms/museumsociety.html - Peer reviewed online, totally free journal with some big names and interesting special issues.
http://museumstudies.si.edu/bull/bullt.htm - From the Smithsonian. Not all are available online, but a few are. Also has some good links for museum studies enthusiasts (especially the webcasts: http://museumstudies.si.edu/webcasts.html).
http://www.getty.edu/research/publications/electronic_publications/ - has some books that are available online for free chapter-by-chapter.
http://archives.icom.museum/object-id/publications.html - ICOM have a few reports and professional standards documents online and freely accessible.
http://www.aam-us.org/sp/index.cfm - American Association of Museums offer some of their reports and articles for free, others you have to have a log in for.
http://www.fihrm.org/resources.html - Federation of International Human Rights Museums: only a couple of things at the moment, but a brand new organisation which will continue to add case studies and resources as time goes on.
http://portal.unesco.org/culture/en - UNESCO’s Culture page has a lot of resources on best practice and how museums can protect and promote cultural heritage.
http://www.museum-joanneum.at/en/museumsakademie/download - From the Museums Academy in Linz (linked to the Universal Museum of the same name). Most are in German, but there are a couple in English too.
http://www.kulturvermittlerinnen.at/archiv.htm - Austrian Association of Cultural Mediators in Museums and Exhibitions has an archive with some documents in Engish from workshops and conferences they have held.
https://lra.le.ac.uk/handle/2381/3 - Leicester’s School of Museum Studies Research Archive
http://www.le.ac.uk/museumstudies/research/phdmusrev.html - Leicester’s PhD Research Museological Review
http://www.le.ac.uk/ms/research/rcmgpublicationsandprojects.html - Leicester (again, they are really good for accessibility!) Research Centre for Museums and Galleries
http://issuu.com/a_m_c - Canadian Museums Association have put their magazine “The voice of Canada’s museum community’ and their annual reports online
http://name-aam.org/resources/exhibitionist/back-issues-and-online-archive - NAME has started putting past issues of its journal, Exhibitionist online.