This research review examines the many facets of the public domain. It discusses key papers whose topics are the various justifications for a rich repository of publicly available information, including policies favouring robust competition, free speech, and scientific and technological advances. It also explores problems in ensuring access to public domain works, as well as commons management mechanisms. Perspectives on the dynamic between the public domain and the creation of new works are also presented. This research review is an insightful resource for students and researchers, with a consideration of the public domain as an important topic in its own right as well as information on the underlying rationales of intellectual property law.