14 Websites to Download Research Paper for Free – 2023
Download Research Paper for Free
Download Research Paper for Free – 2023
14 best free websites to download research papers are listed below:
Sci-Hub is a website link with over 64.5 million academic papers and articles available for direct download. It bypasses publisher paywalls by allowing access through educational institution proxies. To download papers Sci-Hub stores papers in its repository, this storage is called Library Genesis (LibGen) or library genesis proxy 2023.
Visit: Working Sci-Hub Proxy Links – 2023
Z-Library is a clone of Library Genesis, a shadow library project that allows users to share scholarly journal articles, academic texts, and general-interest books via file sharing (some of which are pirated). The majority of its books come from Library Genesis, however, some are posted directly to the site by individuals.
Individuals can also donate to the website’s repository to make literature more widely available. Z-library claims to have more than 10,139,382 Books and 84,837,646 Articles articles as of April 25, 2023.
It promises to be “the world’s largest e-book library” as well as “the world’s largest scientific papers repository,” according to the project’s page for academic publications (at booksc.org). Z-library also describes itself as a donation-based non-profit organization.
Visit: Z-Library – You can Download 70,000,000+ scientific articles for free
3. Library Genesis
The Library Genesis aggregator is a community aiming at collecting and cataloging item descriptions for the most part of scientific, scientific, and technical directions, as well as file metadata. In addition to the descriptions, the aggregator contains only links to third-party resources hosted by users. All information posted on the website is collected from publicly available public Internet resources and is intended solely for informational purposes.
Unpaywall harvests Open Access content from over 50,000 publishers and repositories, and makes it easy to find, track, and use. It is integrated into thousands of library systems, search platforms, and other information products worldwide. In fact, if you’re involved in scholarly communication, there’s a good chance you’ve already used Unpaywall data.
Unpaywall is run by OurResearch, a nonprofit dedicated to making scholarships more accessible to everyone. Open is our passion. So it’s only natural our source code is open, too.
GetTheResearch.org is an Artificial Intelligence(AI) powered search engine for search and understand scientific articles for researchers and scientists. It was developed as a part of the Unpaywall project. Unpaywall is a database of 23,329,737 free scholarly Open Access(OA) articles from over 50,000 publishers and repositories, and make it easy to find, track, and use.
Visit: Find and Understand 25 Million Peer-Reviewed Research Papers for Free
6. Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) was launched in 2003 with 300 open-access journals. Today, this independent index contains almost 17 500 peer-reviewed, open-access journals covering all areas of science, technology, medicine, social sciences, arts, and humanities. Open-access journals from all countries and in all languages are accepted for indexing.
DOAJ is financially supported by many libraries, publishers, and other like-minded organizations. Supporting DOAJ demonstrates a firm commitment to open access and the infrastructure that supports it.
The researcher is a free journal-finding mobile application that helps you to read new journal papers every day that are relevant to your research. It is the most popular mobile application used by more than 3 million scientists and researchers to keep themselves updated with the latest academic literature.
Visit: 10 Best Apps for Graduate Students
8. Science Open
ScienceOpen is a discovery platform with interactive features for scholars to enhance their research in the open, make an impact, and receive credit for it. It provides context-building services for publishers, to bring researchers closer to the content than ever before. These advanced search and discovery functions, combined with post-publication peer review, recommendation, social sharing, and collection-building features make ScienceOpen the only research platform you’ll ever need.
OA.mg is a search engine for academic papers. Whether you are looking for a specific paper, or for research from a field, or all of an author’s works – OA.mg is the place to find it.
10. Internet Archive Scholar
Internet Archive Scholar (IAS) is a full-text search index that includes over 25 million research articles and other scholarly documents preserved in the Internet Archive. The collection spans from digitized copies of eighteenth-century journals through the latest Open Access conference proceedings and pre-prints crawled from the World Wide Web.
Visit: Sci hub Alternative – Internet Archive Scholar
11. Citationsy Archives
Citationsy was founded in 2017 after the reference manager Cenk was using at the time, RefMe, was shut down. It was immediately obvious that the reason people loved RefMe — a clean interface, speed, no ads, simplicity of use — did not apply to CiteThisForMe. It turned out to be easier than anticipated to get a rough prototype up.
CORE is the world’s largest aggregator of open-access research papers from repositories and journals. It is a not-for-profit service dedicated to the open-access mission. We serve the global network of repositories and journals by increasing the discoverability and reuse of open-access content.
It provides solutions for content management, discovery, and scalable machine access to research. Our services support a wide range of stakeholders, specifically researchers, the general public, academic institutions, developers, funders, and companies from a diverse range of sectors including but not limited to innovators, AI technology companies, digital library solutions, and pharma.
Dimensions cover millions of research publications connected by more than 1.6 billion citations, supporting grants, datasets, clinical trials, patents, and policy documents.
Dimensions are the most comprehensive research grants database that links grants to millions of resulting publications, clinical trials, and patents. It
provides up-to-the-minute online attention data via Altmetric, showing you how often publications and clinical trials are discussed around the world. 226m Altmetric mentions with 17m links to publications.
Dimensions include datasets from repositories such as Figshare, Dryad, Zenodo, Pangaea, and many more. It hosts millions of patents with links to other citing patents as well as to publications and supporting grants.
PaperPanda is a Chrome extension that uses some clever logic and the Panda’s detective skills to find you the research paper PDFs you need. Essentially, when you activate PaperPanda it finds the DOI of the paper from the current page, and then goes and searches for it. It starts by querying various Open Access repositories like OpenAccessButton, OaDoi, SemanticScholar, Core, ArXiV, and the Internet Archive. You can also set your university libraries domain in the settings (this feature is in the works and coming soon). PaperPanda will then automatically search for the paper through your library. You can also set a different custom domain in the settings.
I Hope, this article would help you to know some of the best websites to download the research papers and journals for free.
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Sci-Hub is the most controversial project in today science. The goal of Sci-Hub is to provide free and unrestricted access to all scientific knowledge ever published in journal or book form.
Today the circulation of knowledge in science is restricted by high prices. Many students and researchers cannot afford academic journals and books that are locked behind paywalls. Sci-Hub emerged in 2011 to tackle this problem. Since then, the website has revolutionized the way science is being done.
Sci-Hub is helping millions of students and researchers, medical professionals, journalists and curious people in all countries to unlock access to knowledge. The mission of Sci-Hub is to fight every obstacle that prevents open access to knowledge: be it legal, technical or otherwise.
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- Research Skills Blog
5 free and legal ways to get the full text of research articles
By Carol Hollier on 07-Apr-2021 13:23:17
1. Use your library if you have one !
If you are affiliated with a university, you probably have free library access to the full text of millions of research articles. The library will have subscribed to these journals on your behalf. The smartest thing you can do for accessing research articles is familiarize yourself with your own library.
- If you search a database your library will link from the records to the full text if they have it—all you need to do is click through the links.
- When they do not have a copy of an article, a university library can get it for you from another library. This inter-library loan service is usually free to users.
- Your library might use a browser extension like Lean Library or LibKey Nomad to link you to the library subscription or open access full text from wherever you are on the internet.
- Google Scholar lets you configure your account to get links straight to your library’s subscription copy of an article. But remember--side-by-side to library subscriptions for legitimate research, Google Scholar includes links to articles published in predatory and unreliable journals that would be unwise to credit in your own work. Learn more about predatory journals.
If you are not affiliated with a university library, there are still ways you can successfully—and legally—get the full text of research articles.
2. Open Access browser extensions
More and more research is published Open Access as governments around the world are mandating that research paid for by taxpayer money be freely available to those taxpayers.
Browser extensions have been created to make it easy to spot when the full text of an article is free. Some of the best are CORE Discovery , Unpaywall and Open Access Button .
Learn more about difference between discovery and access and why it matters for good research: Where to search - Best Practice for Literature Searching - LibGuides at IFIS
3. Google Scholar
You can search the article title inside quotation marks on Google Scholar to see if a link to a copy of the article appears. If it does, be sure to pay attention to what version of the article you are linking to, to be sure you are getting what you think you’re getting. These links can lead to an article's published version of record, a manuscript version, or to a thesis or conference proceeding with the same title and author as the article you expected to find.
4. Researcher platforms
A Google Scholar search might lead you to a researcher platform like Academia.edu or ResearchGate . There, if you set up an account, you can sometimes download or request a copy of the text. Again, pay attention to which version of the text you get!
5. Write to the author
If you can’t get a copy by other means, you can write to an article’s corresponding author and (politely!) ask them to send you a copy. Their contact information, usually an email address, will be listed in the information you find about the article, either in a database record for the article or on the publishing journal’s page for it. Many authors are happy to share a copy of their work.
Three bonus ways that might work depending on where you live:
1. A nearby university library might offer access to articles even if you do not work or study there.
Members of the public are sometimes allowed access to university journal subscriptions through visitor access or a walk-in user service. You usually need to use the collections from a dedicated computer terminal located in a library and may need to make an appointment before you go. Do your research before showing up to make sure you bring the correct documents and equipment (like a flash drive) along.
2. Try your public library
In some countries, public libraries partner with publishers to give the public access to research articles. In the UK, for instance, many public libraries participate in the Access to Research scheme, which gives members of the public on-site access to over 30 million academic articles. Contact your local public library to learn what is available to you.
In other countries, your institution might have access to a massive collection of research articles and databases through the publisher/library/United Nations agency initiative Research4Life . Check to see if you already have access, and if not, if your institution might be eligible to join. Membership is only available on an organizational or institutional level.
Remember —even though you now have a lot of strategies for finding the full text of articles, research should never be led by the articles you can access most easily.
Good research is driven by first figuring out what articles are most relevant to your question and then getting the full text of what you need. One of the best ways to do this is to use a good discipline-specific database, like FSTA for the sciences of food and health.
Learn more about difference between discovery and access and why it matters for good research:
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21 Legit Research Databases for Free Journal Articles in 2022
Written by Scribendi
Has this ever happened to you? While looking for websites for research, you come across a research paper site that claims to connect academics to a peer-reviewed article database for free.
Intrigued, you search for keywords related to your topic, only to discover that you must pay a hefty subscription fee to access the service. After the umpteenth time being duped, you begin to wonder if there's even such a thing as free journal articles .
Subscription fees and paywalls are often the bane of students and academics, especially those at small institutions who don't provide access to many free article directories and repositories.
Whether you're working on an undergraduate paper, a PhD dissertation, or a medical research study, we want to help you find tools to locate and access the information you need to produce well-researched, compelling, and innovative work.
Below, we discuss why peer-reviewed articles are superior and list out the best free article databases to use in 2022.
Download Our Free Research Database Roundup PDF
Why peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles are more authoritative.
Determining what sources are reliable can be challenging. Peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles are the gold standard in academic research. Reputable academic journals have a rigorous peer-review process.
The peer review process provides accountability to the academic community, as well as to the content of the article. The peer review process involves qualified experts in a specific (often very specific) field performing a review of an article's methods and findings to determine things like quality and credibility.
Peer-reviewed articles can be found in peer-reviewed article databases and research databases, and if you know that a database of journals is reliable, that can offer reassurances about the reliability of a free article. Peer review is often double blind, meaning that the author removes all identifying information and, likewise, does not know the identity of the reviewers. This helps reviewers maintain objectivity and impartiality so as to judge an article based on its merit.
Where to Find Peer-Reviewed Articles
Peer-reviewed articles can be found in a variety of research databases. Below is a list of some of the major databases you can use to find peer-reviewed articles and other sources in disciplines spanning the humanities, sciences, and social sciences.
What Are Open Access Journals?
An open access (OA) journal is a journal whose content can be accessed without payment. This provides scholars, students, and researchers with free journal articles . OA journals use alternate methods of funding to cover publication costs so that articles can be published without having to pass those publication costs on to the reader.
Some of these funding models include standard funding methods like advertising, public funding, and author payment models, where the author pays a fee in order to publish in the journal. There are OA journals that have non-peer-reviewed academic content, as well as journals that focus on dissertations, theses, and papers from conferences, but the main focus of OA is peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles.
The internet has certainly made it easier to access research articles and other scholarly publications without needing access to a university library, and OA takes another step in that direction by removing financial barriers to academic content.
Features of legitimate oa journals.
There are things to look out for when trying to decide if a free publication journal is legitimate:
Mission statement —The mission statement for an OA journal should be available on their website.
Publication history —Is the journal well established? How long has it been available?
Editorial board —Who are the members of the editorial board, and what are their credentials?
Indexing —Can the journal be found in a reliable database?
Peer review —What is the peer review process? Does the journal allow enough time in the process for a reliable assessment of quality?
Impact factor —What is the average number of times the journal is cited over a two-year period?
Features of Illegitimate OA Journals
There are predatory publications that take advantage of the OA format, and they are something to be wary of. Here are some things to look out for:
Contact information —Is contact information provided? Can it be verified?
Turnaround —If the journal makes dubious claims about the amount of time from submission to publication, it is likely unreliable.
Editorial board —Much like determining legitimacy, looking at the editorial board and their credentials can help determine illegitimacy.
Indexing —Can the journal be found in any scholarly databases?
Peer review —Is there a statement about the peer review process? Does it fit what you know about peer review?
How to Find Scholarly Articles
Keywords are included in an article by the author. Keywords are an excellent way to find content relevant to your research topic or area of interest. In academic searches, much like you would on a search engine, you can use keywords to navigate through what is available to find exactly what you're looking for.
Authors provide keywords that will help you easily find their article when researching a related topic, often including general terms to accommodate broader searches, as well as some more specific terms for those with a narrower scope. Keywords can be used individually or in combination to refine your scholarly article search.
Narrow Down Results
Sometimes, search results can be overwhelming, and searching for free articles on a journal database is no exception, but there are multiple ways to narrow down your results. A good place to start is discipline.
What category does your topic fall into (psychology, architecture, machine learning, etc.)? You can also narrow down your search with a year range if you're looking for articles that are more recent.
A Boolean search can be incredibly helpful. This entails including terms like AND between two keywords in your search if you need both keywords to be in your results (or, if you are looking to exclude certain keywords, to exclude these words from the results).
Consider Different Avenues
If you're not having luck using keywords in your search for free articles, you may still be able to find what you're looking for by changing your tactics. Casting a wider net sometimes yields positive results, so it may be helpful to try searching by subject if keywords aren't getting you anywhere.
You can search for a specific publisher to see if they have OA publications in the academic journal database. And, if you know more precisely what you're looking for, you can search for the title of the article or the author's name.
The Top 21 Free Online Journal and Research Databases
Navigating OA journals, research article databases, and academic websites trying to find high-quality sources for your research can really make your head spin. What constitutes a reliable database? What is a useful resource for your discipline and research topic? How can you find and access full-text, peer-reviewed articles?
Fortunately, we're here to help. Having covered some of the ins and outs of peer review, OA journals, and how to search for articles, we have compiled a list of the top 21 free online journals and the best research databases. This list of databases is a great resource to help you navigate the wide world of academic research.
These databases provide a variety of free sources, from abstracts and citations to full-text, peer-reviewed OA journals. With databases covering specific areas of research and interdisciplinary databases that provide a variety of material, these are some of our favorite free databases, and they're totally legit!
CORE is a multidisciplinary aggregator of OA research. CORE has the largest collection of OA articles available. It allows users to search more than 219 million OA articles. While most of these link to the full-text article on the original publisher's site, or to a PDF available for download, five million records are hosted directly on CORE.
CORE's mission statement is a simple and straightforward commitment to offering OA articles to anyone, anywhere in the world. They also host communities that are available for researchers to join and an ambassador community to enhance their services globally. In addition to a straightforward keyword search, CORE offers advanced search options to filter results by publication type, year, language, journal, repository, and author.
CORE's user interface is easy to use and navigate. Search results can be sorted based on relevance or recency, and you can search for relevant content directly from the results screen.
Collection: 219,537,133 OA articles
Other Services: Additional services are available from CORE, with extras that are geared toward researchers, repositories, and businesses. There are tools for accessing raw data, including an API that provides direct access to data, datasets that are available for download, and FastSync for syncing data content from the CORE database.
CORE has a recommender plug-in that suggests relevant OA content in the database while conducting a search and a discovery feature that helps you discover OA versions of paywalled articles. Other features include tools for managing content, such as a dashboard for managing repository output and the Repository Edition service to enhance discoverability.
Good Source of Peer-Reviewed Articles: Yes
Advanced Search Options: Language, author, journal, publisher, repository, DOI, year
Functioning as a research and publishing network, ScienceOpen offers OA to more than 74 million articles in all areas of science. Although you do need to register to view the full text of articles, registration is free. The advanced search function is highly detailed, allowing you to find exactly the research you're looking for.
The Berlin- and Boston-based company was founded in 2013 to "facilitate open and public communications between academics and to allow ideas to be judged on their merit, regardless of where they come from." Search results can be exported for easy integration with reference management systems.
You can also bookmark articles for later research. There are extensive networking options, including your Science Open profile, a forum for interacting with other researchers, the ability to track your usage and citations, and an interactive bibliography. Users have the ability to review articles and provide their knowledge and insight within the community.
Other Services: None
Advanced Search Options: Content type, source, author, journal, discipline
3. Directory of Open Access Journals
A multidisciplinary, community-curated directory, the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) gives researchers access to high-quality peer-reviewed journals. It has archived more than two million articles from 17,193 journals, allowing you to either browse by subject or search by keyword.
The site was launched in 2003 with the aim of increasing the visibility of OA scholarly journals online. Content on the site covers subjects from science, to law, to fine arts, and everything in between. DOAJ has a commitment to "increase the visibility, accessibility, reputation, usage and impact of quality, peer-reviewed, OA scholarly research journals globally, regardless of discipline, geography or language."
Information about the journal is available with each search result. Abstracts are also available in a collapsible format directly from the search screen. The scholarly article website is somewhat simple, but it is easy to navigate. There are 16 principles of transparency and best practices in scholarly publishing that clearly outline DOAJ policies and standards.
Advanced Search Options: Subject, journal, year
4. Education Resources Information Center
The Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) of the Institution of Education Sciences allows you to search by topic for material related to the field of education. Links lead to other sites, where you may have to purchase the information, but you can search for full-text articles only. You can also search only peer-reviewed sources.
The service primarily indexes journals, gray literature (such as technical reports, white papers, and government documents), and books. All sources of material on ERIC go through a formal review process prior to being indexed. ERIC's selection policy is available as a PDF on their website.
The ERIC website has an extensive FAQ section to address user questions. This includes categories like general questions, peer review, and ERIC content. There are also tips for advanced searches, as well as general guidance on the best way to search the database. ERIC is an excellent database for content specific to education.
Advanced Search Options: Boolean
5. arXiv e-Print Archive
The arXiv e-Print Archive is run by Cornell University Library and curated by volunteer moderators, and it now offers OA to more than one million e-prints.
There are advisory committees for all eight subjects available on the database. With a stated commitment to an "emphasis on openness, collaboration, and scholarship," the arXiv e-Print Archive is an excellent STEM resource.
The interface is not as user-friendly as some of the other databases available, and the website hosts a blog to provide news and updates, but it is otherwise a straightforward math and science resource. There are simple and advanced search options, and, in addition to conducting searches for specific topics and articles, users can browse content by subject. The arXiv e-Print Archive clearly states that they do not peer review the e-prints in the database.
Good Source of Peer-Reviewed Articles: No
Advanced Search Options: Subject, date, title, author, abstract, DOI
6. Social Science Research Network
The Social Science Research Network (SSRN) is a collection of papers from the social sciences community. It is a highly interdisciplinary platform used to search for scholarly articles related to 67 social science topics. SSRN has a variety of research networks for the various topics available through the free scholarly database.
The site offers more than 700,000 abstracts and more than 600,000 full-text papers. There is not yet a specific option to search for only full-text articles, but, because most of the papers on the site are free access, it's not often that you encounter a paywall. There is currently no option to search for only peer-reviewed articles.
You must become a member to use the services, but registration is free and enables you to interact with other scholars around the world. SSRN is "passionately committed to increasing inclusion, diversity and equity in scholarly research," and they encourage and discuss the use of inclusive language in scholarship whenever possible.
Collection: 1,058,739 abstracts; 915,452 articles
Advanced Search Options: Term, author, date, network
7. Public Library of Science
Public Library of Science (PLOS) is a big player in the world of OA science. Publishing 12 OA journals, the nonprofit organization is committed to facilitating openness in academic research. According to the site, "all PLOS content is at the highest possible level of OA, meaning that scientific articles are immediately and freely available to anyone, anywhere."
PLOS outlines four fundamental goals that guide the organization: break boundaries, empower researchers, redefine quality, and open science. All PLOS journals are peer-reviewed, and all 12 journals uphold rigorous ethical standards for research, publication, and scientific reporting.
PLOS does not offer advanced search options. Content is organized by topic into research communities that users can browse through, in addition to options to search for both articles and journals. The PLOS website also has resources for peer reviewers, including guidance on becoming a reviewer and on how to best participate in the peer review process.
Collection: 12 journals
Advanced Search Options: None
OpenDOAR, or the Directory of Open Access Repositories, is a comprehensive resource for finding free OA journals and articles. Using Google Custom Search, OpenDOAR combs through OA repositories around the world and returns relevant research in all disciplines.
The repositories it searches through are assessed and categorized by OpenDOAR staff to ensure they meet quality standards. Inclusion criteria for the database include requirements for OA content, global access, and categorically appropriate content, in addition to various other quality assurance measures. OpenDOAR has metadata, data, content, preservation, and submission policies for repositories, in addition to two OA policy statements regarding minimum and optimum recommendations.
This database allows users to browse and search repositories, which can then be selected, and articles and data can be accessed from the repository directly. As a repository database, much of the content on the site is geared toward the support of repositories and OA standards.
Collection: 5,768 repositories
Other Services: OpenDOAR offers a variety of additional services. Given the nature of the platform, services are primarily aimed at repositories and institutions, and there is a marked focus on OA in general. Sherpa services are OA archiving tools for authors and institutions.
They also offer various resources for OA support and compliance regarding standards and policies. The publication router matches publications and publishers with appropriate repositories.
There are also services and resources from JISC for repositories for cost management, discoverability, research impact, and interoperability, including ORCID consortium membership information. Additionally, a repository self-assessment tool is available for members.
Advanced Search Options: Name, organization name, repository type, software name, content type, subject, country, region
9. Bielefeld Academic Search Engine
The Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE) is operated by the Bielefeld University Library in Germany, and it offers more than 240 million documents from more than 8,000 sources. Sixty percent of its content is OA, and you can filter your search accordingly.
BASE has rigorous inclusion requirements for content providers regarding quality and relevance, and they maintain a list of content providers for the sake of transparency, which can be easily found on their website. BASE has a fairly elegant interface. Search results can be organized by author, title, or date.
From the search results, items can be selected and exported, added to favorites, emailed, and searched in Google Scholar. There are basic and advanced search features, with the advanced search offering numerous options for refining search criteria. There is also a feature on the website that saves recent searches without additional steps from the user.
Collection: 276,019,066 documents; 9,286 content providers
Advanced Search Options: Author, subject, year, content provider, language, document type, access, terms of reuse
10. Digital Library of the Commons Repository
Run by Indiana University, the Digital Library of the Commons (DLC) Repository is a multidisciplinary journal repository that allows users to access thousands of free and OA articles from around the world. You can browse by document type, date, author, title, and more or search for keywords relevant to your topic.
DCL also offers the Comprehensive Bibliography of the Commons, an image database, and a keyword thesaurus for enhanced search parameters. The repository includes books, book chapters, conference papers, journal articles, surveys, theses and dissertations, and working papers. DCL advanced search features drop-down menus of search types with built-in Boolean search options.
Searches can be sorted by relevance, title, date, or submission date in ascending or descending order. Abstracts are included in selected search results, with access to full texts available, and citations can be exported from the same page. Additionally, the image database search includes tips for better search results.
Advanced Search Options: Author, date, title, subject, sector, region, conference
11. CIA World Factbook
The CIA World Factbook is a little different from the other resources on this list in that it is not an online journal directory or repository. It is, however, a useful free online research database for academics in a variety of disciplines.
All the information is free to access, and it provides facts about every country in the world, which are organized by category and include information about history, geography, transportation, and much more. The World Factbook can be searched by country or region, and there is also information about the world’s oceans.
This site contains resources related to the CIA as an organization rather than being a scientific journal database specifically. The site has a user interface that is easy to navigate. The site also provides a section for updates regarding changes to what information is available and how it is organized, making it easier to interact with the information you are searching for.
Collection: 266 countries
Paperity boasts its status as the "first multidisciplinary aggregator of OA journals and papers." Their focus is on helping you avoid paywalls while connecting you to authoritative research. In addition to providing readers with easy access to thousands of journals, Paperity seeks to help authors reach their audiences and help journals increase their exposure to boost readership.
Paperity has journal articles for every discipline, and the database offers more than a dozen advanced search options, including the length of the paper and the number of authors. There is even an option to include, exclude, or exclusively search gray papers.
Paperity is available for mobile, with both a mobile site and the Paperity Reader, an app that is available for both Android and Apple users. The database is also available on social media. You can interact with Paperity via Twitter and Facebook, and links to their social media are available on their homepage, including their Twitter feed.
Advanced Search Options: Title, abstract, journal title, journal ISSN, publisher, year of publication, number of characters, number of authors, DOI, author, affiliation, language, country, region, continent, gray papers
13. dblp Computer Science Bibliography
The dblp Computer Science Bibliography is an online index of major computer science publications. dblp was founded in 1993, though until 2010 it was a university-specific database at the University of Trier in Germany. It is currently maintained by the Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz Center for Informatics.
Although it provides access to both OA articles and those behind a paywall, you can limit your search to only OA articles. The site indexes more than three million publications, making it an invaluable resource in the world of computer science. dblp entries are color-coded based on the type of item.
dblp has an extensive FAQ section, so questions that might arise about topics like the database itself, navigating the website, or the data on dblp, in addition to several other topics, are likely to be answered. The website also hosts a blog and has a section devoted to website statistics.
EconBiz is a great resource for economic and business studies. A service of the Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, it offers access to full texts online, with the option of searching for OA material only. Their literature search is performed across multiple international databases.
EconBiz has an incredibly useful research skills section, with resources such as Guided Walk, a service to help students and researchers navigate searches, evaluate sources, and correctly cite references; the Research Guide EconDesk, a help desk to answer specific questions and provide advice to aid in literature searches; and the Academic Career Kit for what they refer to as Early Career Researchers.
Other helpful resources include personal literature lists, a calendar of events for relevant calls for papers, conferences, and workshops, and an economics terminology thesaurus to help in finding keywords for searches. To stay up-to-date with EconBiz, you can sign up for their newsletter.
Advanced Search Options: Title, subject, author, institution, ISBN/ISSN, journal, publisher, language, OA only
15. BioMed Central
BioMed Central provides OA research from more than 300 peer-reviewed journals. While originally focused on resources related to the physical sciences, math, and engineering, BioMed Central has branched out to include journals that cover a broader range of disciplines, with the aim of providing a single platform that provides OA articles for a variety of research needs. You can browse these journals by subject or title, or you can search all articles for your required keyword.
BioMed Central has a commitment to peer-reviewed sources and to the peer review process itself, continually seeking to help and improve the peer review process. They're "committed to maintaining high standards through full and stringent peer review." They publish the journal Research Integrity and Peer Review , which publishes research on the subject.
Additionally, the website includes resources to assist and support editors as part of their commitment to providing high-quality, peer-reviewed OA articles.
Other Services: BMC administers the International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN) registry. While initially designed for registering clinical trials, since its creation in 2000, the registry has broadened its scope to include other health studies as well.
The registry is recognized by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, as well as the World Health Organization (WHO), and it meets the requirements established by the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform.
The study records included in the registry are all searchable and free to access. The ISRCTN registry "supports transparency in clinical research, helps reduce selective reporting of results and ensures an unbiased and complete evidence base."
Advanced Search Options: Author, title, journal, list
A multidisciplinary search engine, JURN provides links to various scholarly websites, articles, and journals that are free to access or OA. Covering the fields of the arts, humanities, business, law, nature, science, and medicine, JURN has indexed almost 5,000 repositories to help you find exactly what you're looking for.
Search features are enhanced by Google, but searches are filtered through their index of repositories. JURN seeks to reach a wide audience, with their search engine tailored to researchers from "university lecturers and students seeking a strong search tool for OA content" and "advanced and ambitious students, age 14-18" to "amateur historians and biographers" and "unemployed and retired lecturers."
That being said, JURN is very upfront about its limitations. They admit to not being a good resource for educational studies, social studies, or psychology, and conference archives are generally not included due to frequently unstable URLs.
Collection: 5,064 indexed journals
Other Services: JURN has a browser add-on called UserScript. This add-on allows users to integrate the JURN database directly into Google Search. When performing a search through Google, the add-on creates a link that sends the search directly to JURN CSE. JURN CSE is a search service that is hosted by Google.
Clicking the link from the Google Search bar will run your search through the JURN database from the Google homepage. There is also an interface for a DuckDuckGo search box; while this search engine has an emphasis on user privacy, for smaller sites that may be indexed by JURN, DuckDuckGo may not provide the same depth of results.
Advanced Search Options: Google search modifiers
Dryad is a digital repository of curated, OA scientific research data. Launched in 2009, it is run by a not-for-profit membership organization, with a community of institutional and publisher members for whom their services have been designed. Members include institutions such as Stanford, UCLA, and Yale, as well as publishers like Oxford University Press and Wiley.
Dryad aims to "promote a world where research data is openly available, integrated with the scholarly literature, and routinely reused to create knowledge." It is free to access for the search and discovery of data. Their user experience is geared toward easy self-depositing, supports Creative Commons licensing, and provides DOIs for all their content.
Note that there is a publishing charge associated if you wish to publish your data in Dryad. When searching datasets, they are accompanied by author information and abstracts for the associated studies, and citation information is provided for easy attribution.
Advanced Search Options: No
Run by the British Library, the E-Theses Online Service (EThOS) allows you to search over 500,000 doctoral theses in a variety of disciplines. All of the doctoral theses available on EThOS have been awarded by higher education institutions in the United Kingdom.
Although some full texts are behind paywalls, you can limit your search to items available for immediate download, either directly through EThOS or through an institution's website. More than half of the records in the database provide access to full-text theses.
EThOS notes that they do not hold all records for all institutions, but they strive to index as many doctoral theses as possible, and the database is constantly expanding, with approximately 3,000 new records added and 2,000 new full-text theses available every month. The availability of full-text theses is dependent on multiple factors, including their availability in the institutional repository and the level of repository development.
Advanced Search Options: Abstract, author's first name, author's last name, awarding body, current institution, EThOS ID, year, language, qualifications, research supervisor, sponsor/funder, keyword, title
PubMed is a research platform well-known in the fields of science and medicine. It was created and developed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the National Library of Medicine (NLM). It has been available since 1996 and offers access to "more than 33 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books."
While PubMed does not provide full-text articles directly, and many full-text articles may be behind paywalls or require subscriptions to access them, when articles are available from free sources, such as through PubMed Central (PMC), those links are provided with the citations and abstracts that PubMed does provide.
PMC, which was established in 2000 by the NLM, is a free full-text archive that includes more than 6,000,000 records. PubMed records link directly to corresponding PMC results. PMC content is provided by publishers and other content owners, digitization projects, and authors directly.
Advanced Search Options: Author's first name, author's last name, identifier, corporation, date completed, date created, date entered, date modified, date published, MeSH, book, conflict of interest statement, EC/RN number, editor, filter, grant number, page number, pharmacological action, volume, publication type, publisher, secondary source ID, text, title, abstract, transliterated title
20. Semantic Scholar
A unique and easy-to-use resource, Semantic Scholar defines itself not just as a research database but also as a "search and discovery tool." Semantic Scholar harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to efficiently sort through millions of science-related papers based on your search terms.
Through this singular application of machine learning, Semantic Scholar expands search results to include topic overviews based on your search terms, with the option to create an alert for or further explore the topic. It also provides links to related topics.
In addition, search results produce "TLDR" summaries in order to provide concise overviews of articles and enhance your research by helping you to navigate quickly and easily through the available literature to find the most relevant information. According to the site, although some articles are behind paywalls, "the data [they] have for those articles is limited," so you can expect to receive mostly full-text results.
Other Services: Semantic Scholar supports multiple popular browsers. Content can be accessed through both mobile and desktop versions of Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Apple Safari, and Opera.
Additionally, Semantic Scholar provides browser extensions for both Chrome and Firefox, so AI-powered scholarly search results are never more than a click away. The mobile interface includes an option for Semantic Swipe, a new way of interacting with your research results.
There are also beta features that can be accessed as part of the Beta Program, which will provide you with features that are being actively developed and require user feedback for further improvement.
Advanced Search Options: Field of study, date range, publication type, author, journal, conference, PDF
Zenodo, powered by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), was launched in 2013. Taking its name from Zenodotus, the first librarian of the ancient library of Alexandria, Zenodo is a tool "built and developed by researchers, to ensure that everyone can join in open science." Zenodo accepts all research from every discipline in any file format.
However, Zenodo also curates uploads and promotes peer-reviewed material that is available through OA. A DOI is assigned to everything that is uploaded to Zenodo, making research easily findable and citable. You can sort by keyword, title, journal, and more and download OA documents directly from the site.
While there are closed access and restricted access items in the database, the vast majority of research is OA material. Search results can be filtered by access type, making it easy to view the free articles available in the database.
Advanced Search Options: Access, file type, keywords
Check out our roundup of free research databases as a handy one-page PDF.
How to find peer-reviewed articles.
There are a lot of free scholarly articles available from various sources. The internet is a big place. So how do you go about finding peer-reviewed articles when conducting your research? It's important to make sure you are using reputable sources.
The first source of the article is the person or people who wrote it. Checking out the author can give you some initial insight into how much you can trust what you’re reading. Looking into the publication information of your sources can also indicate whether the article is reliable.
Aspects of the article, such as subject and audience, tone, and format, are other things you can look at when evaluating whether the article you're using is valid, reputable, peer-reviewed material. So, let's break that down into various components so you can assess your research to ensure that you're using quality articles and conducting solid research.
Check the Author
Peer-reviewed articles are written by experts or scholars with experience in the field or discipline they're writing about. The research in a peer-reviewed article has to pass a rigorous evaluation process, so it’s a foregone conclusion that the author(s) of a peer-reviewed article should have experience or training related to that research.
When evaluating an article, take a look at the author’s information. What credentials does the author have to indicate that their research has scholarly weight behind it? Finding out what type of degree the author has—and what that degree is in—can provide insight into what kind of authority the author is on the subject.
Something else that might lend credence to the author’s scholarly role is their professional affiliation. A look at what organization or institution they are affiliated with can tell you a lot about their experience or expertise. Where were they trained, and who is verifying their research?
Identify Subject and Audience
The ultimate goal of a study is to answer a question. Scholarly articles are also written for scholarly audiences, especially articles that have gone through the peer review process. This means that the author is trying to reach experts, researchers, academics, and students in the field or topic the research is based on.
Think about the question the author is trying to answer by conducting this research, why, and for whom. What is the subject of the article? What question has it set out to answer? What is the purpose of finding the information? Is the purpose of the article of importance to other scholars? Is it original content?
Research should also be approached analytically. Is the methodology sound? Is the author using an analytical approach to evaluate the data that they have obtained? Are the conclusions they've reached substantiated by their data and analysis? Answering these questions can reveal a lot about the article’s validity.
Reliable articles from peer-reviewed sources have certain format elements to be aware of. The first is an abstract. An abstract is a short summary or overview of the article. Does the article have an abstract? It's unlikely that you're reading a peer-reviewed article if it doesn’t. Peer-reviewed journals will also have a word count range. If an article seems far too short or incredibly long, that may be reason to doubt it.
Another feature of reliable articles is the sections the information is divided into. Peer-reviewed research articles will have clear, concise sections that appropriately organize the information. This might include a literature review, methodology, and results in the case of research articles and a conclusion.
One of the most important sections is the references or bibliography. This is where the researcher lists all the sources of their information. A peer-reviewed source will have a comprehensive reference section.
An article that has been written to reach an academic community will have an academic tone. The language that is used, and the way this language is used, is important to consider. If the article is riddled with grammatical errors, confusing syntax, and casual language, it almost definitely didn't make it through the peer review process.
Also consider the use of terminology. Every discipline is going to have standard terminology or jargon that can be used and understood by other academics in the discipline. The language in a peer-reviewed article is going to reflect that.
If the author is going out of their way to explain simple terms, or terms that are standard to the field or discipline, it's unlikely that the article has been peer reviewed, as this is something that the author would be asked to address during the review process.
The source of the article will be a very good indicator of the likelihood that it was peer reviewed. Where was the article published? Was it published alongside other academic articles in the same discipline? Is it a legitimate and reputable scholarly publication?
A trade publication or newspaper might be legitimate or reputable, but it is not a scholarly source, and it will not have been subject to the peer review process. Scholarly journals are the best resource for peer-reviewed articles, but it's important to remember that not all scholarly journals are peer reviewed.
It’s helpful to look at a scholarly source’s website, as peer-reviewed journals will have a clear indication of the peer review process. University libraries, institutional repositories, and reliable databases (and you now might have a list of some legit ones) can also help provide insight into whether an article comes from a peer-reviewed journal.
Common Research Mistakes to Avoid
Research is a lot of work. Even with high standards and good intentions, it’s easy to make mistakes. Perhaps you searched for access to scientific journals for free and found the perfect peer-reviewed sources, but you forgot to document everything, and your references are a mess. Or, you only searched for free online articles and missed out on a ground-breaking study that was behind a paywall.
Whether your research is for a degree or to get published or to satisfy your own inquisitive nature, or all of the above, you want all that work to produce quality results. You want your research to be thorough and accurate.
To have any hope of contributing to the literature on your research topic, your results need to be high quality. You might not be able to avoid every potential mistake, but here are some that are both common and easy to avoid.
Sticking to One Source
One of the hallmarks of good research is a healthy reference section. Using a variety of sources gives you a better answer to your question. Even if all of the literature is in agreement, looking at various aspects of the topic may provide you with an entirely different picture than you would have if you looked at your research question from only one angle.
Not Documenting Every Fact
As you conduct your research, do yourself a favor and write everything down. Everything you include in your paper or article that you got from another source is going to need to be added to your references and cited.
It's important, especially if your aim is to conduct ethical, high-quality research, that all of your research has proper attribution. If you don't document as you go, you could end up making a lot of work for yourself if the information you don’t write down is something that later, as you write your paper, you really need.
Using Outdated Materials
Academia is an ever-changing landscape. What was true in your academic discipline or area of research ten years ago may have since been disproven. If fifteen studies have come out since the article that you're using was published, it's more than a little likely that you're going to be basing your research on flawed or dated information.
If the information you're basing your research on isn’t as up-to-date as possible, your research won't be of quality or able to stand up to any amount of scrutiny. You don’t want all of your hard work to be for naught.
Relying Solely on Open Access Journals
OA is a great resource for conducting academic research. There are high-quality journal articles available through OA, and that can be very helpful for your research. But, just because you have access to free articles, that doesn't mean that there's nothing to be found behind a paywall.
Just as dismissing high-quality peer-reviewed articles because they are OA would be limiting, not exploring any paid content at all is equally short-sighted. If you're seeking to conduct thorough and comprehensive research, exploring all of your options for quality sources is going to be to your benefit.
Digging Too Deep or Not Deep Enough
Research is an art form, and it involves a delicate balance of information. If you conduct your research using only broad search terms, you won't be able to answer your research question well, or you'll find that your research provides information that is closely related to your topic but, ultimately, your findings are vague and unsubstantiated.
On the other hand, if you delve deeply into your research topic with specific searches and turn up too many sources, you might have a lot of information that is adjacent to your topic but without focus and perhaps not entirely relevant. It's important to answer your research question concisely but thoroughly.
Different Types of Scholarly Articles
Different types of scholarly articles have different purposes. An original research article, also called an empirical article, is the product of a study or an experiment. This type of article seeks to answer a question or fill a gap in the existing literature.
Research articles will have a methodology, results, and a discussion of the findings of the experiment or research and typically a conclusion.
Review articles overview the current literature and research and provide a summary of what the existing research indicates or has concluded. This type of study will have a section for the literature review, as well as a discussion of the findings of that review. Review articles will have a particularly extensive reference or bibliography section.
Theoretical articles draw on existing literature to create new theories or conclusions, or look at current theories from a different perspective, to contribute to the foundational knowledge of the field of study.
10 Tips for Navigating Journal Databases
Use the right academic journal database for your search, be that interdisciplinary or specific to your field. Or both!
If it’s an option, set the search results to return only peer-reviewed sources.
Start by using search terms that are relevant to your topic without being overly specific.
Try synonyms, especially if your keywords aren’t returning the desired results.
Even if you’ve found some good articles, try searching using different terms.
Explore the advanced search features of the database(s).
Learn to use Booleans (AND, OR, NOT) to expand or narrow your results.
Once you’ve gotten some good results from a more general search, try narrowing your search.
Read through abstracts when trying to find articles relevant to your research.
Keep track of your research and use citation tools. It’ll make life easier when it comes time to compile your references.
7 Frequently Asked Questions
1. how do i get articles for free.
Free articles can be found through free online academic journals, OA databases, or other databases that include OA journals and articles. These resources allow you to access free papers online so you can conduct your research without getting stuck behind a paywall.
Academics don’t receive payment for the articles they contribute to journals. There are often, in fact, publication fees that scholars pay in order to publish. This is one of the funding structures that allows OA journals to provide free content so that you don’t have to pay fees or subscription costs to access journal articles.
2. How Do I Find Journal Articles?
Journal articles can be found in databases and institutional repositories that can be accessed at university libraries. However, online research databases that contain OA articles are the best resource for getting free access to journal articles that are available online.
Peer-reviewed journal articles are the best to use for academic research, and there are a number of databases where you can find peer-reviewed OA journal articles. Once you've found a useful article, you can look through the references for the articles the author used to conduct their research, and you can then search online databases for those articles, too.
3. How Do I Find Peer-Reviewed Articles?
Peer-reviewed articles can be found in reputable scholarly peer-reviewed journals. High-quality journals and journal articles can be found online using academic search engines and free research databases. These resources are excellent for finding OA articles, including peer-reviewed articles.
OA articles are articles that can be accessed for free. While some scholarly search engines and databases include articles that aren't peer reviewed, there are also some that provide only peer-reviewed articles, and databases that include non-peer-reviewed articles often have advanced search features that enable you to select “peer review only.” The database will return results that are exclusively peer-reviewed content.
4. What Are Research Databases?
A research database is a list of journals, articles, datasets, and/or abstracts that allows you to easily search for scholarly and academic resources and conduct research online. There are databases that are interdisciplinary and cover a variety of topics.
For example, Paperity might be a great resource for a chemist as well as a linguist, and there are databases that are more specific to a certain field. So, while ERIC might be one of the best educational databases available for OA content, it's not going to be one of the best databases for finding research in the field of microbiology.
5. How Do I Find Scholarly Articles for Specific Fields?
There are interdisciplinary research databases that provide articles in a variety of fields, as well as research databases that provide articles that cater to specific disciplines. Additionally, a journal repository or index can be a helpful resource for finding articles in a specific field.
When searching an interdisciplinary database, there are frequently advanced search features that allow you to narrow the search results down so that they are specific to your field. Selecting “psychology” in the advanced search features will return psychology journal articles in your search results. You can also try databases that are specific to your field.
If you're searching for law journal articles, many law reviews are OA. If you don’t know of any databases specific to history, visiting a journal repository or index and searching “history academic journals” can return a list of journals specific to history and provide you with a place to begin your research.
6. Are Peer-Reviewed Articles Really More Legitimate?
The short answer is yes, peer-reviewed articles are more legitimate resources for academic research. The peer review process provides legitimacy, as it is a rigorous review of the content of an article that is performed by scholars and academics who are experts in their field of study. The review provides an evaluation of the quality and credibility of the article.
Non-peer-reviewed articles are not subject to a review process and do not undergo the same level of scrutiny. This means that non-peer-reviewed articles are unlikely, or at least not as likely, to meet the same standards that peer-reviewed articles do.
7. Are Free Article Directories Legitimate?
Yes! As with anything, some databases are going to be better for certain requirements than others. But, a scholarly article database being free is not a reason in itself to question its legitimacy.
Free scholarly article databases can provide access to abstracts, scholarly article websites, journal repositories, and high-quality peer-reviewed journal articles. The internet has a lot of information, and it's often challenging to figure out what information is reliable.
Research databases and article directories are great resources to help you conduct your research. Our list of the best research paper websites is sure to provide you with sources that are totally legit.
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Is there an affordable way for non-students to subscribe to multi-journals/archives?
As a student I had free access to thousands of scholarly articles through my universities in databases/archives such as JSTOR, EBSCOhost, Google Scholar, Econlit, PubMed, etc, etc.
With no subscription, glancing at the full text of any 1 article costs anywhere from $20 to $60.
For any one project or paper I'd use at least five to ten papers and I'd skim over the full text of many more. For a meta-analysis of the literature, I'd go over dozens and perhaps even over a hundred papers.
As a non-student the cost is extremely prohibitive to continue reading past the free abstracts. I don't want to pirate the papers or give up reading them, but I can't find any reasonable alternatives.
Does anyone know of any monthly subscription I could sign up for to give me student-like/institutional access to papers?
Note: A community wiki answer has been added to this question to provide a list of solutions to the problem.
- 33 I think Aaron Swartz provided the unfortunate answer to this question... :( – R.. GitHub STOP HELPING ICE Jul 23, 2014 at 18:30
- 1 I think it is a good idea to provide a community wiki answer that every one can add his own suggestion and the users have access to a list of suggestions, not just separate answers to the question. – enthu Jul 23, 2014 at 19:26
- @EnthusiasticStudent Great suggestion. I've just added a community wiki solution, feel free to edit it! – Hack-R Aug 25, 2014 at 15:32
- 6 I think Alexandra Elbakyan took her own approach on this one. The world is still processing what to do about her solution. – David Roberts Mar 9, 2017 at 7:42
- 6 While potentially problematic in terms of legality, the answer to this question is hardly complete without mentioning sci-hub.cc – nabla Mar 9, 2017 at 8:50
9 Answers 9
Many papers are freely available on authors' websites, and preprint servers (use search engine to find those).
- Write to the authors, asking for copies. Majority of academics are happy when their work is read, and will send you a copy.
Your public library might subscribe to more than you suspect. Check it out. When I was a student in a community college, my local public library subscribed to JSTOR for example.
Become a student or an academic again :-)
- 4 The costs of being student again may be much more than the price of two or three papers he wants. Becoming a student again may not be affordable indeed. – enthu Jul 24, 2014 at 10:47
- 7 That heavily depends on what is available to him. In Germany, the cost of being a student is negligible. – Janis F Jul 24, 2014 at 13:05
- 3 At my German university, it is around 250 € / six months, and you get a bus/tram ticket with it. – Martin Ueding Jul 24, 2014 at 17:38
- 4 +1 for the suggestion to check libraries. Your local library may not have what you're looking for, but a larger or specialized branch might. Also, many college libraries allow nonstudents access (though not necessarily borrowing privileges). – keshlam Aug 25, 2014 at 16:43
To add to Boris Bukh's suggestions:
- Many institutions grant library privileges to alumni, which might include remote access to the university's online subscriptions. You might get in touch with the librarian at your alma mater and ask if they offer such a thing. (In some cases you might be required to join the alumni association and pay dues, but this would probably be on the order of US$10-$100 per year.)
- Many universities open their libraries to the public. If you live near any university or college that has appropriate subscriptions, you may be able to just walk into their library, sit down at a computer, and download the articles you want. Then just put them on a USB drive, upload them to a cloud storage account, or email them to yourself. For older articles that aren't online, the library may have them in bound volumes; they may not let you check them out, but you can photocopy or scan any article you want.
Institutional access to subscriptions is usually based on IP address - all computers on the campus's network have access. So if you still have a computer account at your alma mater, you may be able to log into it and fetch articles through there. You may even be able to set up a proxy/tunnel/VPN or something similar to let you browse from your own computer but have requests routed through your university account. For instance, if you have a Unix shell account, this is easily done with an ssh tunnel (but the details are beyond the scope of this site).
If you have a friend who's still a student or faculty at your alma mater or elsewhere, you could ask them to download the occasional article for you. (This is probably not helpful for your 100-paper meta-analysis, unless they're a really good friend.)
Unfortunately, as you've probably discovered, personal subscriptions are usually prohibitively expensive, and may have to be purchased individually for each journal, or at least each publisher.
- 6 Thanks. I appreciate the suggestions. I still have half a mind to try to open a business that purchases institutional access and sells it to non-students though LOL ;) – Hack-R Jul 22, 2014 at 20:49
- 3 @NerdLife: Sadly, I fear the publishers would shut you down in a heartbeat. – Nate Eldredge Jul 22, 2014 at 21:01
- 4 @Nate Eldredge but why? If they will make a deal with a small university that has, let's say 3,000 students, then why wouldn't they make the same deal with a private company that has about the same number of students? Wouldn't that be the same situation as group health insurance or other things where groups get together to purchase in bulk? – Hack-R Jul 23, 2014 at 15:50
- 5 Publishers make a lot of money from purchases of one-off preprints. They make deals with universities because university researchers (who provide most of their inventory) wouldn't publish in those journals otherwise. – JeffE Jul 23, 2014 at 18:05
- 2 @queueoverflow Sort of. Journals provide evidence of independent peer-review, because they (supposedly) won't publish anything without it, as well as a certain amount of version control (you can't change a journal paper once it's published, no matter how embarrassing it becomes). Publishing on your own web page (or arXiv and the like) does not. – JeffE Jul 24, 2014 at 20:28
A month after asking this question I randomly stumbled onto the type of solution which I was originally seeking -- open-market subscription based access to multiple journals and full-text article links from sources such as Google Scholar, PubMed, EconLit, etc.
While searching for full text access to an article on Manufactured Environmental Toxins in umbilical cords I noticed that one of the full text options was through a service called DeepDyve .
It claims to be the "Spotify of Academic articles" ( Spotify is a popular Internet radio app that lets you download and play music at will if you subscribe). Here is a somewhat dated review from Ohio State's TechTip a la 2009. It's a $40/mo subscription plan for non-students like the institutional access you get within academia. I'm on a 2-week trial of it now.
Of course, I'm still going to continue to make use of many of the other good suggestions and I'm on the lookout for other services like this to select from.
USE WITH ADDITIONAL SOLUTIONS
In addition to the service I found, I'm taking advantage of several other solutions offered. Even with the subscription-based service there are many papers and journals to which I do not have access and the follow suggestions remain vital:
- Many papers are freely available on authors' websites, and pre-print servers (use search engine to find those).
- Your public library might subscribe to more than you suspect. Check it out.
LIMITATIONS OF THIS SOLUTION
The subscription-based service isn't a perfect solution. @J.Zimmerman points out that, unlike institutional access, you do not have the right to print or download papers. It's "read-only" access.
The selection of journals is quite large, but still limited. My feeling is that it directly provides access to about the same selection you'd have with most universities, but unlike universities there's no inter-library loan or other work-around for when you do not have access.
As I use this solution more over the course of the next few days I'll update this solution with further limitations and I'll better integrate it with the other useful solutions which have been posted. I will also take a suggestion from the comments to make this a Community Wiki solution.
Finally, I will also be on the look-out for any competing services like DeepDyve. Please update this solution if you know of any, so that we're not inadvertantly providing an advertisement for one arbitrary commercial service.
- 4 The only problem is that this is NOT like having institutional access-- deepdyve offers read-onlya access to fulltext articles; no printing or downloading. This limits its usefullness. +1 anyway. – J. Zimmerman Aug 24, 2014 at 9:43
- @J.Zimmerman Yes, that's a good point. I will update my answer and/or make it a Community Wiki answer to reflect that. So far it's fitting my needs pretty well, but I'm sure I'll discover more limitation after a few more days of use and I'll update this accordingly. +1 on your comment. – Hack-R Aug 25, 2014 at 15:27
- 1 You can print a limited number of pages per month on DeepDyve, which you can 'print' to PDF to create soft copy. You can also purchase additional access to certain papers and journals. Some significant publishers are absent, notably IEEE. – Matti Wens Nov 2, 2018 at 19:41
Depending on where you are, you may have access through government-funded agencies (similar to public libraries). E.g. in Germany, the DFG purchases national licenses for quite a number of journals, and you can register for that as individual (technically, it works via the university library of Frankfurt)
Your library may be able to get the paper via inter-library loan for less than the direct purchase costs.
Not only universities, but also research instutes have libraries. These are often connected to library networks and may have access to quite a number of journals. In my experience, even if you cannot become member of that library, it is often possible to go there and read journals they have (including making a copy) as well as download papers they have electronic access to.
- I never thought of this. I should've specified that I'm in the United States, but this is still a good idea – Hack-R Jul 24, 2014 at 15:52
- @NerdLife: about the national licenses, I don't have any idea whether you have state or national subscriptions (but OTOH you have major funding agencies requiring that produced papers must be made available). Also here, hardly anyone knows about the possibility to visit a research institute's library. When I was at a research institute in Canada, they were connected to the British Library and could get everything within a day or so. Not sure whether they'd let outside people into the library, but asking doesn't hurt. Here you often have to sign in and out of a guest list. – cbeleites unhappy with SX Jul 25, 2014 at 9:52
If you are in the UK, then you may be able to get access through your local public library .
- I'm so jealous! – Hack-R Jul 24, 2014 at 15:51
- Ho ho ho. Let's all travel in meatspace to a special place to access on a computer no different to our own an electronic copy of a document that has severe restrictions on how it can be used. – David Roberts Mar 9, 2017 at 7:41
- @David I don't understand your comments. This is one possible access option and it has advantages and disadvantages like every other solution. Or have you found a solution with no disadvantages but don't see a good reason to post it here? – E.P. Mar 9, 2017 at 7:48
- It is an access option, yes, for some. It's very specific and hard data shows that while this is the preferred option for publishers to look like they are addressing the 'public have a right to access tax-funded research', the uptake is low. The user's about page says they are in the US, but I grant you that people in the UK might find this useful. Apologies for the saltiness! – David Roberts Mar 9, 2017 at 7:51
I believe the answer is fairly simple here. The subscription that you may be looking for may not be a specialized article service, but rather the university itself.
Just find a university that has a good network, and register to do a course there. I believe some universities allow you to sign up for a single course, evening school or for a parttime scholarship, significantly reducing the costs.
Of course you will need to check the legal requirements, but as long as you use your access for academic research I think you should be ok.
It turns out that a related survey was posted this week in this PLOS blog post on how paleontologists access the (non-open access) literature :
I put together an informal, non-scientific survey. The survey asked questions about how people access the literature, the kinds of journals they can access most easily, and basic demographics. I advertised the survey via Twitter and Facebook. I wouldn’t count it as a scientific sample by any means, but I do feel that I got reasonably good coverage of various types of paleontologists at various types of institutions (as well as non-paleontologists who follow the literature). 115 individuals responded, during the course of about a week.
You could also check out Academia.edu which encourages users to upload papers that are then made available for free to that community.
- 2 Similar sites are ResearchGate.net and Mendeley. – E.P. Jul 24, 2014 at 0:03
- 1 But @episanty the problem is - everyone won't do it. Especially, big guys - why will they care about it? More often than not, you can't bank on these options to find the paper you want. – 299792458 Jul 24, 2014 at 7:11
- Oh, I'm not saying it's the way to go - it may or may not be. All I was pointing out was other similar options. Keep in mind, also, that these are not 'self-archive' sites like the arXiv, and people other than the authors can upload the papers. – E.P. Jul 24, 2014 at 9:15
Depending on your field, the answer can also be to join a professional organization and subscribe to their digital library. As an example from my field, members of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) can purchase an annual subscription to the digital library, with access to every paper ever published in any of their publications, for $99. I imagine other fields may have similar deals.
- That's a good point, thanks. I used to be an ACM member myself. It's not a perfect solution because I really miss not being restricted to reading papers from a particular field/group, but it's definitely a way to go and I think an ACM membership is certainly worth the $99. – Hack-R Jul 25, 2014 at 13:51
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How to Access Full-text Research Papers Online (5 free strategies)
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In need of online access to full-text research papers for your projects?
Try out these trusted and legal options, which have proved helpful for several researchers.
In this article, we further outline the potential for success with each suggestion.
Do let me know which of them works out for you.
R esearchGate is an underutilized platform in the academics. However, it’s one of the primary sources of online access to full-text research papers.
Usually, the full-texts are available on the platform. You may need to make a direct request to the authors.
From experience, adding these two features have proved helpful,
- attach an introductory email
- a specific time range by which you would love to have the full-text.
Compared to the plain, automated request for full-texts, these two tips significantly increase your chance of a positive response.
Effectiveness Quotient (based on personal experience from sourcing for research papers ): Subjective
Do you have an endnote software? An automatic search option is attached.
Connect to an internet provider, click the search button and voila, it searches the online database available and returns full-text results.
Where your institution has access to journal repositories or subscriptions, the results returned from the search is higher.
You can see an example here .
Effectiveness Quotient (based on personal experience): Subjective (depends on the number of online repositories your institute is connected to).
A useful option for those living in developing countries, as they can get free access to the platform with an institutional email address.
HINARI contains a host of full-texts across different academic fields.
A search through the repository could prove beneficial.
Effectiveness Quotient (based on personal experience): Free access is limited to developing countries
A legal resource and relatively new option which provides access to paywalled full-texts. The software navigates the web to find full-text versions uploaded anywhere online.
It’s available as a Google Chrome Extension which can be added to your browser toolbar. It is represented as an open (green) or closed (gray) lock, usually on the right of the screen . Other useful Google Chrome extensions for improved productivity and browser experience are discussed here .
Results from a search show up as an open, green lock if available and grey, if inaccessible.
Effectiveness Quotient (based on personal experience): >50%. This frequency will depend on the sector or field in which you need full-texts. Also, the yield from search is subjective.
5. Google Scholar/Advanced Search
Google Scholar provides access to some research papers. Access to full-texts online is depicted on the right-hand side of the screen if free or open access. Where connected to an institutional cloud database, the link to a free version of the full-text is also visible (if available).
For Google Advanced Search , navigate to the advanced search option, usually found on the lower right of the screen, or use this link . Search for the full-text using the title of the paper. Where a free version is found, the links will reflect on your screen. This option is quite limited though.
Effectiveness Quotient (based on personal experience): 30%.
Colwiz is another free option for sourcing full-text research papers online. I discovered it as an addendum to Google Docs. Further research into the software shows it to be a tool for sourcing research papers and research management. The software can be assessed on most devices including Mobile, Windows, and Mac computers.
Users can access and read files (mainly open access, based on my stake-out of the platform), store and annotate them. Groups and project collaborations can be created and managed on the platform with shared calendars, to do lists, task creation and assignments, file imports and bibliography generation.
It can be integrated into Windows, Open Office and Google Docs for free, as a cite-while-you-write helper.
New sign-ups are allotted a cloud storage space of 3GB and more are added to subsequent social media connections and referrals. The platform operates a model similar to Dropbox at the outset.
Profile completion grants you 400MB cloud storage space, ad 1GB if you connect your social media profile. Successful invitations to the platform add a further 30GB.
Effectiveness Quotient (based on personal experience): Quite low (I could only find open access papers, limited success relative to ResearchGate).
If all else fails, do consider renting or getting the paid version of the full-text.
These suggestions do not preclude the option of paying for a full-text at the outset but should be considered to save costs, more so when on a research budget.
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list. With the advancements in technology and open access initiatives, more options for free, online access to full-text research papers are being developed or discovered.
For projects conducted with funds from the Bill Gates Foundation, an automatic open access label is assigned. Free access is granted to all research papers from this funding.
Which resource have you found useful in sourcing for full texts of research papers? Please share in the comments below.
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Let's do Science Better
How to Access Journal Articles Behind Paywalls
Science can’t advance without researchers being able to share their publications with collaborators and others and to access published papers as bases for their own hypotheses and work. The trend toward open-access availability of papers and the push for mandating publicly-funded research to be freely accessible to the public is still ongoing [1,2]. Until more literature is easily accessible, the path from the publication of an article to the eyes of a researcher in need of it is not always straightforward.
In this first of a two-part series, we review legal ways to access journal articles . Look out for our upcoming article on sharing your articles.
Access Journal Articles Behind Paywalls for Free
It’s an all-too-familiar frustration: you’re writing your latest research paper and sifting through PubMed  for sources to cite, and you come across an abstract where the authors describe experiments that would confirm or deny your burgeoning point…only to hit a paywall.
Another common dilemma: it’s your turn to lead journal club, and you want to cover the latest major publication on the gene many members of your group are researching, but like many just-published papers, it’s paywalled for the next 12 months.
How can you dig deeper to support your manuscript properly, or nab access to that hot new paper for group discussion, without paying the usually hefty single-article fee …or breaking the law?
Check Your Institutions’ and Associations’ Subscriptions
Universities, colleges, and companies usually subscribe to a number of journals relevant to their research. You might have hit a paywall simply because you’re not logged in through your institution. If you’re on-site, check your internet connection. Your Wi-Fi device might have reverted to guest access that lacks privileges afforded to students, faculty, and staff of the institution, a common glitch.
If you’re working from home, have you logged in to your institution’s VPN or library proxy server? Some papers (especially older ones) that are not available via PubMed even when you log in through VPN or proxy could still be available through your university’s library. Clicking around on the library’s site often reveals different ranges of issue dates sorted under different databases, particularly for long-running journals.
Institutions where you are an alumnus could also be helpful here. Many universities include some extent of library access—often for a small annual fee—in their alumni programs. It’s frequently limited to physical copies or to a single database that is separate from the greater variety available to current students, but it could just uncover that specific article you seek.
Finally, are you a member of the Biophysical Society, AAAS, ASBMB [5,6,7], or other science society? These usually offer free or discounted subscriptions to the journals they publish.
Investigate Other Library Options
Your local library might subscribe to the journal(s) you’re trying to access. In many cases, the resources are only available on microfilm or microfiche.
And don’t forget good old interlibrary loans. It will take a few visits to websites of libraries where you aren’t a member and maybe a few phone calls as well, just to see which library has the right issue of the journal. Then, call your institution’s or city’s library and arrange for a loan from that other library. This may cost a nominal fee and may only allow you access to a hard copy. Also, keep in mind how soon you need the resource, as interlibrary loans often take weeks.
Get it From the Author
The first page of most papers contains an email address for the corresponding author for situations exactly like this! Contact info is also available on that webpage with the abstract preceding the page with the paywall. It might feel awkward to cold-email a researcher you don’t know for their paper, but if they respond, it would be all worthwhile.
Be sure to ask the author about any permission they have from the journal to share the paper, and give them the chance to check with the journal as they might also not know. (You could also look on How Can I Share It whether an author is allowed to share their work .) In many cases, journals give authors permission to share only pre-print versions of their papers, which suit most purposes and shouldn’t inhibit your work that uses that paper.
If you write to the corresponding author and can’t seem to get a response, check the authors’ lab group pages on their institutions’ websites as well as their social media pages. Some publishers, such as Springer Nature , are allowing authors to share their work, often in view-only mode, on social media, networks for researchers, personal websites, and public repositories without it being a copyright violation.
Unpaywall , a service from the organization Our Research (formerly Impactstory) [11,12], legally harvests content from open-access sources such as university and government databases and authors’ and publishers’ webpages and makes them available in one place .
While there isn’t a search bar on its site to look for papers directly, it is integrated into Dimensions  and Scopus , where its database feeds into your search results . If you’re accessing the web from a University of California campus or through their VPN or proxy, you’ll see Unpaywall as a link for accessing many of your search results. Otherwise, you may want to install Unpaywall as a browser plug-in; it’s available for Chrome  and Firefox . It runs in the background while you browse, without the need for you to paste in article DOIs as in its previous iteration, OA Button (which is still available ).
Look for an Open-Access Alternative
Are you looking for an article to cite for backing up a statement? You might not need the particular one you’ve targeted. Similar work with results pointing to the same fact could be published elsewhere. This can happen because competing research groups often tend to publish parallel research at the same time, or else because findings are frequently reproduced by other labs to verify their integrity.
Sometimes a lab will publish figures analyzing the same data they had previously published in a new way, either in a review paper or in a subsequent research article where new, related data build over the old data. Alternatively, a review paper by another lab citing the paper you can’t access could cite the fact you seek substantially enough to serve as an adequate citation.
With any luck, you could find a source fitting any of these scenarios that is open access and can replace the citation you’d initially desired.
When it’s Time to Open Your Wallet
If none of the above options works, you may have to fork it over and pay the journal. Here are your options:
Purchase or Rent the Individual Paper
If it’s a particular paper that you can’t obtain for free and for which you just can’t find an open-access substitute, you may need to invest in access to that one paper. It may not be necessary to purchase it at the full price indicated by the paywall.
If the journal is published by a scientific society of which you are a member, the price is likely discounted for you. If the paper is from a Nature -branded journal, you could use ReadCube , which offers three different tiers of access:
- most cheaply, to rent the paper for 48 hours;
- intermediately, to purchase cloud access;
- and most expensively, to purchase the full PDF.
If this is a journal club article , you’ll need to purchase the PDF because you wouldn’t otherwise be able to print or share the paper with your group, just as you wouldn’t be able to import it into your reference manager. The lower tiers would still allow you to read the information from the paper for your use, and of course, you could always enter all the citation info into your reference manager.
Get a Personal Subscription
If you find yourself wishing you had access to different papers and a large proportion of them are from the same journal, it might be worthwhile to subscribe to that journal.
Perhaps you’re having a year during which you’re writing more than usual—the last year of your PhD, a period of grant-writing for a nonprofit startup that likely has few or no journal subscriptions of its own, or a year several years into a professorship at which point you’re hoping for tenure next quarter—and you might want to subscribe to a journal or two that particularly pertain to your work for that year (subscriptions are annual in most cases).
Admittedly, this is an expensive option, although personal, non-commercial subscriptions are usually priced lower than institutional ones. For instance, yearly individual subscriptions are $235 for PNAS , $835 for JLR  (though a subscription comes free of charge to members of ASBMB ), and $845 for Environmental Microbiology .
Have we missed any legal ways to access articles? If so, leave us a comment below. Also, make sure to check out our related Bitesize Bio articles on Common Myths of Copyright and Open Access: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly for more answers to your burning questions about copyright and open access.
For more tips on keeping track of the scientific literature, head over to the Bitesize Bio Managing the Scientific Literature Hub .
- Piwowar H, Priem J, Orr R. The Future of OA: A large-scale analysis projecting Open Access publication and readership . bioRxiv 795310; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/795310 [PREPRINT]
- Rabesandratana, T. Will the world embrace Plan S, the radical proposal to mandate open access to science papers? Science , Jan. 3, 2019.
- PubMed . Accessed Sep. 9, 2020.
- sporte (Porter, S). How much does it cost to get a scientific paper? ScienceBlogs, Jan. 9, 2012. Accessed Aug. 31, 2020.
- Biophysical Society . Accessed Sep. 9, 2020.
- American Association for the Advancement of Science . Accessed Sep. 9, 2020.
- American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology . Accessed Sep. 9, 2020.
- How Can I Share It . Accessed Sep. 9, 2020.
- Springer Nature. SharedIt . Accessed Sep. 9, 2020.
- Unpaywall: An open database of 20 million free scholarly articles . Accessed Sep. 9, 2020.
- Our Research . Accessed Sep. 9, 2020.
- Heather. Impactstory is now Our Research . Our Research blog, July 4, 2019. Accessed Sep. 1, 2020.
- Unpaywall due for release 4th April . LibraryLearningSpace, March 22, 2017. Accessed Sep. 1, 2020.
- Dimensions . Accessed Sep. 9, 2020.
- Elsevier. Scopus . Accessed Sep. 9, 2020.
- Heather. Elsevier becomes newest customer of Unpaywall Data Feed . Our Research blog, July 26, 2018. Accessed Sep. 1, 2020.
- Chrome Web Store – Extensions . Accessed Sep. 9, 2020.
- Unpaywall – Get this Extension for Firefox . Accessed Sep. 9, 2020.
- Open Access Button . Accessed Sep. 9, 2020.
- Papers App. What is ReadCube Checkout? What are the purchase options? Accessed Sep. 9, 2020.
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2021 Subscription Rates . Accessed Sep. 9, 2020.
- Journal of Lipid Research. Print Subscriptions . Accessed Sep. 9, 2020.
- Member subscriptions . American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2020. Accessed Sep. 9, 2020.
- Wiley Online Library. Step 1 of 4 – Choose Subscription . Accessed Sep. 9, 2020.
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The top list of academic search engines
Academic search engines have become the number one resource to turn to in order to find research papers and other scholarly sources. While classic academic databases like Web of Science and Scopus are locked behind pay walls, Google Scholar and others can be accessed free of charge. In order to help you get your research done fast, we have compiled the top list of academic search engines.
- 1. Google Scholar
Google Scholar is the clear number one when it comes to academic search engines. It's the power of Google searches applied to research papers and patents. It not only let's you find research papers for all academic disciplines for free, but also often provides links to full text PDF file.
- Coverage: approx. 200 million articles
- Abstracts: only a snippet of the abstract is available
- Related articles: ✔
- References: ✔
- Cited by: ✔
- Links to full text: ✔
- Export formats: APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard, Vancouver, RIS, BibTeX
- 2. Microsoft Academic
It's Microsoft answer to Google Scholar. Microsoft Academic takes a different approach and generates for each paper that is indexed an overview page that allows to easily explore top citing articles and references of the article.
- Coverage: approx. 210 million articles
- Abstracts: ✔
- Export formats: APA, MLA, BibTeX
BASE is hosted at Bielefeld University in Germany and that's where it name stems from (Bielefeld Academic Search Engine).
- Coverage: approx. 136 million articles (contains duplicates)
- Related articles: ✘
- References: ✘
- Cited by: ✘
- Export formats: RIS, BibTeX
CORE is an academic search engine dedicated to open access research papers. For each search result a link to the full text PDF or full text web page is provided.
- Coverage: approx. 136 million articles
- Links to full text: ✔ (all articles in CORE are open access)
- Export formats: BibTeX
- 5. Science.gov
Science.gov is a fantastic resource as it bundles and offers free access to search results from more than 15 U.S. federal agencies. There is no need any more to query all those resources separately!
- Coverage: approx. 200 million articles and reports
- Links to full text: ✔ (available for some databases)
- Export formats: APA, MLA, RIS, BibTeX (available for some databases)
- 6. Semantic Scholar
Semantic Scholar is the new kid on the block. It's mission is to provide more relevant and impactful search results using AI powered algorithms that find hidden connections and links between research topics.
- Coverage: approx. 40 million articles
- Export formats: APA, MLA, Chicago, BibTeX
- 7. Baidu Scholar
Although Baidu Scholar's interface is in Chinese it's index contains research papers in English as well as Chinese.
- Coverage: no detailed statistics available, approx. 100 million articles
- Abstracts: only snippets of the abstract are available
- Export formats: APA, MLA, RIS, BibTeX
RefSeek searches more than one billion documents from academic and organizational websites. Its clean interface makes it especially easy to use for students and new researchers.
- Coverage: no detailed statistics available, approx. 1 billion documents
- Abstracts: only snippets of the article are available
- Export formats: not available
- Frequently Asked Questions about academic search enginces
Google Scholar is an academic search engine, and it is the clear number one when it comes to academic search engines. It's the power of Google searches applied to research papers and patents. It not only let's you find research papers for all academic disciplines for free, but also often provides links to full text PDF file.
BASE , as its name suggest is an academic search engine. It is hosted at Bielefeld University in Germany and that's where it name stems from (Bielefeld Academic Search Engine).
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OAIs are unique identifiers used by repositories. As opposed to DOIs, they are minted in a distributed way and cost-free. Our service allows you to resolve an OAI in the same way as you would resolve a DOI.
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Helping funders to analyse, audit and monitor open research and accelerate towards open science.
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Ben Johnson, Research Policy Adviser at Research England
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Eight Ways (and More) To Find and Access Research Papers
This blog is part of our Research Smarter series. You’ll discover the various search engines, databases and data repositories to help you along the way. Click on any of the following links for in an in-depth look at how to find relevant research papers, journals , and authors for your next project using the Web of Science™. You can also check out our ultimate guides here , which include tips to speed up the writing process.
If you’re in the early stages of your research career, you’re likely struggling to learn all you can about your chosen field and evaluate your options. You also need an easy and convenient way to find the right research papers upon which to build your own work and keep you on the proper path toward your goals.
Fortunately, most institutions have access to thousands of journals, so your first step should be to be to check with library staff and find out what is available via your institutional subscriptions.
For those who may be unfamiliar with other means of access, this blog post – the first in a series devoted to helping you “research smarter” – will provide a sampling of established data sources for scientific research. These include search engines, databases, and data repositories.
Search Engines and Databases
You may have already discovered that the process of searching for research papers offers many choices and scenarios. Some search engines, for example, can be accessed free of charge. Others require a subscription. The latter group generally includes services that index the contents of thousands of published journals, allowing for detailed searches on data fields such as author name, institution, title or keyword, and even funding sources. Because many journals operate on a subscription model too, the process of obtaining full-text versions of papers can be complicated.
On the other hand, a growing number of publishers follow the practice of Open Access (OA) , making their journal content freely available. Similarly, some authors publish their results in the form of preprints, posting them to preprint servers for immediate and free access. These repositories, like indexing services, differ in that some concentrate in a given discipline or broad subject area, while others cover the full range of research.
Following is a brief selection of reputable search engines by which to locate articles relevant to your research.
Google Scholar is a free search engine that provides access to research in multiple disciplines. The sources include academic publishers, universities, online repositories, books, and even judicial opinions from court cases. Based on its indexing, Google Scholar provides citation counts to allow authors and others to track the impact of their work.
The Directory of Open Access Journals ( DOAJ ) allows users to search and retrieve the article contents of nearly 10,000 OA journals in science, technology, medicine, social sciences, and humanities. All journals must adhere to quality-control standards, including peer review.
PubMed , maintained by the US National Library of Medicine, is a free search engine covering the biomedical and life sciences. Its coverage derives primarily from the MEDLINE database, covering materials as far back as 1951.
JSTOR affords access to more than 12 million journal articles in upwards of 75 disciplines, providing full-text searches of more than 2,000 journals, and access to more than 5,000 OA books.
The following selection samples a range of resources, including databases which, as discussed above, index the contents of journals either in a given specialty area or the full spectrum of research. Others listed below offer consolidated coverage of multiple databases. Your institution is likely subscribed to a range of research databases, speak to your librarian to see which databases you have access to, and how to go about your search.
Web of Science includes The Web of Science Core Collection, which covers more than 20,000 carefully selected journals, along with books, conference proceedings, and other sources. The indexing also captures citation data, permitting users to follow the thread of an idea or development over time, as well as to track a wide range of research-performance metrics. The Web of Science also features EndNote™ Click , a free browser plugin that offers one-click access to the best available legal and legitimate full-text versions of papers. See here for our ultimate guide to finding relevant research papers on the Web of Science .
Science.gov covers the vast territory of United States federal science, including more than 60 databases and 2,200-plus websites. The many allied agencies whose research is reflected include NASA, the US Department of Agriculture, and the US Environmental Protection Agency.
CiteSeerx is devoted primarily to information and computer science. The database includes a feature called Autonomous Citation Indexing, designed to extract citations and create a citation index for literature searching and evaluation.
Preprint and Data Repositories
An early form of OA literature involved authors, as noted above, making electronic, preprint versions of their papers freely available. This practice has expanded widely today. You can find archives devoted to a single main specialty area, as well as general repositories connected with universities and other institutions.
The specialty archive is perhaps best exemplified by arXiv (conveniently pronounced “archive,” and one of the earliest examples of a preprint repository). Begun in 1991 as a physics repository, ArXiv has expanded to embrace mathematics, astronomy, statistics, economics, and other disciplines. The success of ArXiv spurred the development of, for example, bioArXiv devoted to an array of topics within biology, and for chemistry, ChemRxiv .
Meanwhile, thousands of institutional repositories hold a variety of useful materials. In addition to research papers, these archives store raw datasets, graphics, notes, and other by-products of investigation. Currently, the Registry of Open Access Repositories lists more than 4,700 entries.
Reach Out Yourself?
If the resources above don’t happen to result in a free and full-text copy of the research you seek, you can also try reaching out to the authors yourself.
To find who authored a paper, you can search indexing platforms like the Web of Science , or research profiling systems like Publons™ , or ResearchGate , then look to reach out to the authors directly.
So, although the sheer volume of research can pose a challenge to identifying and securing needed papers, plenty of options are available.
Mapping the path to future changes in the journal citation reports.
How to take an evidence-based approach to building a scholarly community
The Preprint Citation Index: linking preprints to the trusted Web of Science ecosystem
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Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is going to conduct Class 10 Social Science exam today, March 15, from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm.
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Unpaywall An open database of 46,690,920 free scholarly articles. We harvest Open Access content from over 50,000 publishers and repositories, and make it easy to find, track, and use. Get the extension "Unpaywall is transforming Open Science" —Nature feature article, August 2018 Used and trusted by top organizations
14 best free websites to download research papers are listed below: 1. Sci-Hub Sci-Hub is a website link with over 64.5 million academic papers and articles available for direct download. It bypasses publisher paywalls by allowing access through educational institution proxies.
The goal of Sci-Hub is to provide free and unrestricted access to all scientific knowledge ever published in journal or book form. Today the circulation of knowledge in science is restricted by high prices. Many students and researchers cannot afford academic journals and books that are locked behind paywalls.
Researcher platforms A Google Scholar search might lead you to a researcher platform like Academia.edu or ResearchGate . There, if you set up an account, you can sometimes download or request a copy of the text. Again, pay attention to which version of the text you get! 5. Write to the author
While looking for websites for research, you come across a research paper site that claims to connect academics to a peer-reviewed article database for free. Intrigued, you search for keywords related to your topic, only to discover that you must pay a hefty subscription fee to access the service.
Today (January 2023), the most comprehensive single database that is free for is Google Scholar. Within your Google Scholar search results you will see links to either just the abstract, or the complete text if it is available for free. Links to the complete text version generally in downloadable PDF or HTML webpage hosted by the publisher.
These are often connected to library networks and may have access to quite a number of journals. In my experience, even if you cannot become member of that library, it is often possible to go there and read journals they have (including making a copy) as well as download papers they have electronic access to.
How to Find that Research Paper Online (5 free strategies) Watch on 0:00 / 7:07 Quick Navigation 1. ResearchGate 2. Endnote 3. HINARI 4. Unpaywall 5. Google Scholar/Advanced Search 6. Colwiz In need of online access to full-text research papers for your projects?
How to access academic papers online, for free! | by Sheldon Korpet | Medium 500 Apologies, but something went wrong on our end. Refresh the page, check Medium 's site status, or find something...
These usually offer free or discounted subscriptions to the journals they publish. Investigate Other Library Options Your local library might subscribe to the journal (s) you're trying to access. In many cases, the resources are only available on microfilm or microfiche. And don't forget good old interlibrary loans.
Access to Research gives free, walk-in access to over 30 million academic articles in participating public libraries across the UK. Start now by viewing which articles and journals are available from home, then find a participating library where you can view the full text. Share #AccessToResearch
DOAJ is a unique and extensive index of diverse open access journals from around the world, driven by a growing community, committed to ensuring quality content is freely available online for everyone. All DOAJ services are free of charge including being indexed. All data is freely available. → About DOAJ. → How to apply. Apply now. Funding
CORE is an academic search engine dedicated to open access research papers. For each search result a link to the full text PDF or full text web page is provided. 🧳 What is Science.gov? Science.gov is a fantastic resource as it bundles and offers free access to search results from more than 15 U.S. federal agencies. There is no need any more ...
The open access movement is, and each year they move the needle towards a future in which every paper is at least free to read, if not free to reuse and share. You should support open access for ...
The Web of Science is one of the most trusted solutions for researchers to discover open access publications. Our publisher-neutral approach means that you can quickly find papers that are not only free to read, but also from reputable sources worth your time and attention.
The world's largest collection of open access research papers. ... Academic institutions. Making research more discoverable, improving metadata quality, helping to meet and monitor open access compliance. ... Tools to find, discover and explore the wealth of open access research. Free for everyone, forever.
Google Scholar is a free search engine that provides access to research in multiple disciplines. The sources include academic publishers, universities, online repositories, books, and even judicial opinions from court cases. Based on its indexing, Google Scholar provides citation counts to allow authors and others to track the impact of their work.
You can use Google extensions like: 1. Sci Hub X Now! 2. Unpaywall 3. PaperPanda Otherwise, websites like: 1. https://sci-hub.ru/ 2. https://sci-hub.hkvisa.net/ 3. https://sci.hubg.org/...
Academic writing is devoted to topics and questions that are of interest to the academic community. When you write an academic paper, you must first try to find a topic or a question that is relevant and appropriate. But how do you know when a topic is relevant and appropriate? First of all, pay attention to what your professor is saying. She
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The reporting time is 10 am and paper timings is 10:30 am to 1:30 pm. Analysis of the Social Science exam by teachers and students' reactions will be provided once the paper is over.
The free Microsoft Word templates make it easy to get started on your thesis or paper.Content: Explains quality criteria for academic publications, the development process for writing successfully, academic integrity and ethics. The free templates ThesisAPA7 and StudentPaperAPA7 help students to get a kick-start and supports the writing in ...