[Discuss] Access to Academic Articles

Joshua Pearce professor.pearce at gmail.com
Tue Dec 31 14:01:13 UTC 2013

Hi Malcom,

You have hit on a major problem in academia  - lack of basic access to past
research. Even publicly funded research is often behind absurd pay walls.
You are not alone -- even relatively good academic libraries rarely carry
all of the titles. I can't get access to some of my own work without paying
$50/paper. Many academics share your frustration and the open access
movement in academia is growing strong. I am confident that in the near
future everything will be freely available - all federal funded research in
the US is about to go that way following the NIH model....and OSH will be
next :)

That doesn't help you with your project today - so I have a few
1. Look in the open access repositories where we post our preprints such as
even a simple  http://scholar.google.com/ searches for the articles that
you are interested in sometimes turn up free versions
2. If you can at least get to the abstract page on the paid page - you
should be able to get the email of the contact author. If you email the
author, ask for a copy while saying something nice and that you "want to
read it in order to cite it"....that should work 90% of the time.
3. Make an academic friend in the field that would be willing to share
their personal database with you (e.g. Zotero, Mendeley etc) so that you
can get you most everything else.

Best of luck

Joshua M. Pearce, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
The Michigan Tech Open Sustainability Technology
Department of Materials Science & Engineering
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Michigan Technological University
601 M&M Building
1400 Townsend Drive
Houghton, MI 49931-1295

Open Source Lab <http://store.elsevier.com/coArticle.jsp?pageid=18200010>
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