Institutional Repositories (IR) are one way that institutions, such as universities, can provide free access to academic work. You may also want to search repositories to find OA research from researchers, scholars and students.
There are many IR, here are a select few:
Opening Access to Research
SPARC®, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, is an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to correct imbalances in the scholarly publishing system.
Action by SPARC in collaboration with stakeholders – including authors, publishers, and libraries – builds on the unprecedented opportunities created by the networked digital environment to advance the conduct of scholarship.
Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition. (2012) What is Sparc? Retrieved from http://www.arl.org/sparc/about/index.shtml
Funding Agencies and OA
The Government of Canada’s three federal granting agencies for research in the higher education sector;
are "committed to developing a shared approach for improving access to publicly funded research in keeping with internationally recognized best practices, standards and policies for funding and conducting research".