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is there anyway I can avoid paying 50$ for research papers?

(humanities, history, politics, analysis, media studies... etc)

Everytime I stumble across a good research that will help me in my dissertation, It always crazy overpriced! I don't know what to do.

I already spend a lot of money on papers before and I'm tired, i spent around 200$ already and that's really big for me since my country's currency is pretty low compared to $.

Are there any websites that offer free research papers or at least a cheap prescription?

Edit 1: thank you so much everyone for commenting advice, I greatly appreciate it! I unfortunately cannot respond to everyone because it's so many comments but i read them all and took notes!

where to get free research papers reddit

May 30, 2023

Websites for pirated research papers, during my research, i found various reddit discussions that addressed the issue of accessing pirated research papers and alternative methods to find them. there was a general consensus among reddit users that websites like sci-hub, researchgate, and provide access to research papers for free, although some users cautioned against using sci-hub due to ethical and legal concerns . users also suggested alternative methods like using open access button, reaching out to authors directly, and searching for papers on authors' research group websites . overall, the sources were quite related to the original query, and my uncertainty is relatively low given the information provided in these discussions..


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Preferred Methods to Access Research Papers

where to get free research papers reddit

"Don’t neglect ResearchGate either. That’s a free and 100% legal avenue where researchers post their own work."

"Try as well, they host papers for free."

"I use Researchgate and CiteSeer as well as scihub, libgen and"

Alternative Methods to Access Research Papers

"I only use sci-hub if all else fails, but it usually is able to find anything not accessible through usual means. Especially handy for more obscure articles from pre 90’s, since most library licenses don’t go back so far. Just to add, I use a chrome extension called “Open access button” which will check if any (legal) OA version of the paper exists when you are on the web version."

"Regardless, sci-hub is the resource I use, and it’s done well by me for over half a decade now."

Pirated Research Paper Websites

"I only know of Sci-Hub and then /r/Scholar. I have only used the Scholar subreddit once after I couldn't find my article on Sci-Hub, but I got the paper I needed rather quickly."

"Nexus is the best way right now. Their [telegram bots]( have almost all articles up to date., especially Elsevier. paste DOI and Single click, done."

Ethical and Legal Concerns

Conclusions, jump to top, "public access: the pros and cons of open-access publishing".

Not used in article

"[D] Thoughts on IEEE Access as a journal?"

"what is your opinion about open access journals", "(pdf) piracy: a threat to academicians and publishers - researchgate", "is downloading really stealing the ethics of digital piracy", "(pdf) legality and ethics of web scraping - researchgate", "lpt: when looking for more reliable, professional sources for academic writing. try adding pdf on the end of your search", "how can i gain access to scholarly articles for free to use as sources for a paper".

Here are my notes:

  • Reddit thread from 3 years ago with 11 points discussing the issue of gaining access to scholarly articles for free, particularly for academic research papers.
  • Users suggest various tools to access scholarly articles for free, including Google Scholar, DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals), BASE (Bielefeld Academic Search Engine), and (Scientific Articles). These tools can help search for Open Access publications and find PDFs of articles that are not paywalled.
  • Another user suggests talking to librarians about remote access options, particularly if one is part of a university.
  • Other suggestions include looking for specific OA journals and even reaching out to authors directly for access. Various academic databases, like the ones available through university libraries, may also be helpful for those affiliated with an institution.
  • The legality of some of these methods are questioned by some users, including Sci-hub and other tools that may involve non-legal means.
  • Many users express gratitude for the suggestions provided, indicating that the issue of accessing scholarly articles for free is more widespread than one may think.

"Access to published articles for free from journals such as Nature?"

Unfortunately, since this is a Reddit post with over 30 comments and replies, summarizing this page in 400 words without losing important information would be difficult. Nonetheless, the main points that I see as relevant to the query are:

  • Various websites allow users to access research papers for free, including Sci-Hub, ResearchGate,, MedRXiv, and bioRxiv.
  • Different Reddit users suggest different methods to access the papers, including pasting the URL or DOI of the article on sci-hub or searching for the article directly on the site; using an Open Access button extension for Chrome to check if an open-access version of the article exists or a PaperPanda Chrome extension to automatically find a full-text copy of the article; visiting the author’s research group website to access their posted research for free or reaching out to the author directly to request a copy.
  • Users mention that they prefer accessible sources over Sci-Hub, but resort to it when no other option is available. Some caution users to prioritize checking whether an open-access version of the paper is available and to reach out to authors first before using Sci-Hub.
  • Elsevier, a publishing company, receives extensive criticism in the discussion for their predatory fees and poorly-designed manuscript submission pages.
  • Users suggest that library subscriptions may provide free access to certain articles, but access is typically limited to certain journals and depending on the affiliation of the individual.
  • Some users caution that preprints - versions of papers that have not yet been peer-reviewed - may have errors that are not caught yet, so users should take the extra step to fact-check those papers.
  • Extension authors commend the Unpaywall extension that displays a link to an unpaywalled version of the paper when the user is on a journal page.
  • Users discuss the struggles of submitting papers, including experiencing errors and difficult interactions with publishers, and the frustration of high fees.
  • Some users provide helpful tips like checking Google Scholar for free versions of papers or using to access the internet archive version of blocked URLs.

"Home - Free Legal Research Resources - Harvard Library Guides"

"7 ways to access journal articles without breaking the bank - bitesize bio", "📌 here are some sites where you can find sources and references for your review of related literature (rrl) in research and the most powerful academic search engines for references".

  • The webpage provides a list of websites where resources and references for research can be found, including various academic search engines.
  • The list includes links to websites like PDFDrive, Global ETD Search,, Springer Link, OhioLINK, Lib Guides Community, DOAJ, BASE, Eric, Infotopia, Google Scholar, Refseek, The Virtual LRC, SweetSearch, and DeepDyve.
  • PDFDrive is described as a source for over 205 million books for direct download in all disciplines.
  • Global ETD Search Engine provides access to over 4 million PDF studies.
  • is a scientific database of theses and diaries for students and researchers.
  • Springer Link is a website that provides access to paid researches and books for free.
  • OhioLINK provides access to more than 65,000 master’s and Ph.D. theses that can be read and downloaded.
  • Lib Guides Community is a website that offers research and exploration service over 318,968 research guides supervised by over 53,731 librarians in 3,856 libraries worldwide.
  • DOAJ allows you to download more than 9,000 respectable court scientific journals for free.
  • BASE is one of the world’s most massive search engines especially for open electronic scientific sources.
  • Eric is an online digital library of education research and information, providing easy access to educational resources to support their use in improving learning and teaching practices, educational decision-making, and research.
  • Infotopia is a research engine for students that provides information and an archive of art sites and topics, history, social sciences, issues, and community problems.
  • Google Scholar is a scientific researcher from Google that offers an easy way to research on a large scale in scientific material. It allows users to search through many disciplines and sources like articles, university letters, books, summaries, and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional associations, and other sites.
  • Refseek is a search engine dedicated to students and researchers that categorizes more than a billion subjects, including web pages, books, encyclopedia, magazines, and newspapers.
  • The Virtual LRC is an indexing system of thousands of the best academic information sites, selected by teachers and libraries around the world, to provide students and teachers with the proper information for academic projects for schools and universities.

SweetSearch is a website that helps students quickly collect information, identifying the most relevant findings from a credible resource list and facilitates them to find initial sources away from unwanted sites and marginal sites that lack academic rigor.

"internet archive scholar", "14 websites to download research paper for free – 2023", "a researcher’s complete guide to open access papers", "eight ways (and more) to find and access research papers", "what is the best way to find research papers".

  • Title of Reddit thread: “What is the best way to find research papers?”
  • Posted 7 years ago under subreddit “scientificresearch”
  • User asks for help in finding free or cheaper scientific research papers
  • Reddit user suggests using Google Scholar as a way of finding free, full-text research articles
  • They provide instructions on how to find full-text articles on Google Scholar using the “All 5 versions” link and how to use regular Google search to find non-academic sites that carry an article
  • Other Reddit users provide additional free databases such as PubMed Central, BioMed Central, Science Direct, Public Library of Science (PLoS), Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), Directory of Open Access Repositories (Open DOAR), HighWire, OCLC World Catalog, Social Science Research Network, Microsoft Academic Search, Mendeley, and
  • Under each database listed, the user provides a brief description of what each one offers and what fields of study they cover
  • Some Reddit users suggest finding an email address for the author and asking for the article directly or using a friend’s login to access restricted content
  • One user suggests enrolling in a local community college to get access to some databases or connecting to their Wi-Fi for access
  • Another user suggests using “Mendeley” to manage research and find free full-text articles

"The 8 <b>Best Open Access Journal Sites</b> for Students "

"21 legit research databases for free journal articles in 2022", "i made a list of academic research websites, i hope you find some helpful.", "ethical challenges in accessing participants at a research site", "federal privacy protections: ethical ... - ama journal of ethics", "is downloading pirated games illegal", "what is a pirated game what are the differences between it and the actual game", "accessing elsevier papers".

  • Paywalls and accessing research papers can be a frustrating experience for students and researchers.
  • Elsevier is a journal publisher that makes contributions and access to science expensive, especially for those who are financially-pressed, leading to difficulty accessing many relevant papers in the field.
  • Various methods are discussed for overcoming this hurdle, ranging from emailing researchers directly to requesting inter-library loans.
  • One Redditor comments that researchers are generally eager to share their papers for free.
  • Other suggestions include reaching out to a researcher via social media, or asking for help on Twitter or Reddit via the “icanhazpdf” hashtag or /r/scholar subreddit.
  • Some users recommend using platforms like Sci-Hub or Library Genesis, which offer access to a vast repository of research papers.
  • However, these platforms often face legal issues.
  • Other comments suggest checking authors’ personal websites for archived versions of papers or even emailing the authors to ask for a copy of the paper.
  • Some users also recommend finding connections at other universities who may have access to the desired journal.
  • Another option is to search for pre-prints or draft copies of the papers on platforms such as Arxiv or BioArxiv.
  • One Redditor commented that librarians are often very helpful in finding hard-to-acquire papers via inter-library loans.
  • It is noted that there are some ethical considerations when deciding to use pirated versions of research papers.
  • A discussion is also present regarding the legal issues surrounding paywalls, with some noting that accessing publicly funded research being published behind paywalls should not be considered piracy.
  • Some individuals have organized to establish their own alternative publishing methods, as highlighted in the resignation and formation of a new journal by the editorial board of Journal of Combinatorial Theory Ser. A.
  • Some specific websites recommended for accessing research papers include Sci-Hub (now blocked in many countries), Library Genesis, ResearchGate, Google Scholar, Arxiv and BioArxiv, among others.
  • Others cautioned that some of these sites are not reliable and may carry risks such as malware.
  • Overall, there are a variety of options available for accessing research papers that require subscriptions.

"Publication ethics: Role and responsibility of authors"

"pirate research-paper sites play hide-and-seek with publishers", "ethical challenges in online research: public/private perceptions", "is it unethical or illegal to cite papers obtained through sci-hub or libgen".

  • The webpage is a thread on Reddit titled “Is it unethical or illegal to cite papers obtained through Sci-hub or Libgen?” and was posted 4 years ago on the subreddit r/AskAcademia.
  • The thread has 7 points and contains 12 comments as of the time it was posted.
  • Some commenters in the thread argued that it is unethical and potentially illegal to use research papers obtained through websites like Sci-hub and Libgen because it violates copyright law.
  • Others argued that the high cost of accessing research and the fact that many authors are happy to share copies of their work justifies the use of these websites.
  • One user who identified themselves as a librarian stated that while the high cost of academic publishing is unethical, users should do their best to obtain free versions of research papers before obtaining them through sites like Sci-hub and Libgen.
  • This user also suggested using tools like Open Access Button to find freely available copies of research before resorting to these websites.
  • Another commenter stated that they would be flattered if someone obtained their work illegally because it meant that their research was valuable.
  • Several commenters suggested that pirating research through websites like Sci-hub and Libgen was necessary for individuals living in countries without access to academic resources.
  • Some users argued that the academic publishing industry itself is unethical and unfair to the public because it puts taxpayer-funded research behind paywalls and sells it back to the public.
  • One user joked that it was unethical to cite books they returned to the library on time.
  • Overall, the thread highlights the controversial nature of using sites like Sci-hub and Libgen to obtain research papers and the varied opinions on the ethical implications of doing so in the academic community.

"ELI5: How a company can 'catch' you for pirating"

"besides sci-hub, does anyone know where else i can get a pirated article".

  • One Reddit user suggests /r/Scholar and has used it successfully once after Sci-Hub did not have the paper. (Karma: 24)
  • Another user suggests using Nexus and their Telegram bots for articles, especially those from Elsevier. (Karma: 1)
  • A third user recommends checking with the librarian at one’s college, contacting authors, posting on Twitter with the hashtag #ICanHazPDF, and using LibGen. (Karma: 18)
  • One user has never gotten a response from an author before. (Karma: 2)
  • Another suggests checking out Filepursuit and posting the DOI or link on Reddit. (Karma: 3)
  • A user recommends using the Unpaywall browser extension to see if the paper is available for free on other sites. (Karma: 2)
  • is recommended as a source of free pre-reviewed articles by another user. (Karma: 2)
  • is suggested for those who cannot find articles on Sci-Hub. (Karma: 1)
  • LibGen is mentioned multiple times as a resource for books and papers. (Karma: 1, 1)
  • ResearchGate and CiteSeer are also suggested for requesting papers from authors. (Karma: 1, 1)
  • Someone asks for help accessing a specific research paper. (Karma: 1)
  • One user reiterates that paying for a scientific article is unnecessary. (Karma: 2)
  • Another user confirms that the response rate on ResearchGate is good. (Karma: 1)

"Open Access Versus Traditional Publishing - Amnet EnableOA"

"pros and cons of traditional and open access publishing", "sci-hub&#39;s cache of pirated papers is so big, subscription ... - aaas".

💭   Looking into

Comparison between Open Access and traditional subscription-based publishing models

Advantages and disadvantages of accessing pirated research papers online

Top 5 most reliable websites to download pirated research papers

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How to get past paywalls and read scientific studies

By Whitson Gordon

Posted on Oct 23, 2019 9:37 PM EDT

4 minute read

Popular Science stories often link directly to scientific studies. You can get all the information you need from the articles themselves, and even more from these links, but if you get the urge to investigate further—perhaps to see the data for yourself—you’ll want to read the study firsthand. Unfortunately, many academic papers are hidden behind expensive paywalls.

There’s a lot to say about the academic research industry, but many believe scientific studies should be freely available to the public . Even if you find a paper that’s hidden behind a paid subscription, there are ways to get it for free—and we’re not talking about piracy. Often, the study you’re looking for may be freely, legally available elsewhere, if you know how to find it.

Google (Scholar) it

Don’t get discouraged just because one database says you need to pay for a specific study. Search for the title of the study (or a portion of the title with an author’s last name) on Google Scholar , the Google-powered search engine for academic literature. If you’re lucky, you’ll see a result with an [html] or [pdf] link on the right-hand side of the page, which should link you to the full text of the study.

If for some reason the right sidebar link doesn’t work, you can also click the “All 11 versions” link at the bottom of each result block to see more sites that offer the paper. You could also try searching regular ol’ Google for the paper’s title, perhaps with the filetype:PDF operator as part of your search terms. This may help you find it on sites that aren’t crawled by Google Scholar.

Use browser extensions to your advantage

If you’re a journalist, student, or science nerd who finds yourself regularly hunting for full-text articles, you can streamline the process a bit with a browser extension called Unpaywall . It works with Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, and displays a small padlock icon on the right side of your browser window whenever you visit a page dedicated to a scholarly article. If there’s a paywall and the padlock is green, that means Unpaywall found a free version somewhere on the web, and you can click the icon to visit it immediately. In my experience, this doesn’t find much more beyond a Google Scholar search, but it’s a lot easier than performing manual searches all the time. Heck, even if a site isn’t paywalled, Unpaywall’s green icon is still easier than hunting for the “Download PDF” button on a given page.

A tool called Open Access Button does something similar. It’s browser-agnostic and has been around for a bit longer, so try both tools and see which you like better. I think Unpaywall feels a bit smoother, but Open Access Button’s maturity may help you find things Unpaywall doesn’t know about yet.

Check your local library

Many public libraries subscribe to academic databases and share those subscriptions with their constituents. You may have to head to the library’s physical location to get a library card, if you don’t have one already, but those are usually free or cheap. And from then on, you should be able to access a lot of your library’s resources right from your computer at home, including scholarly journals (not to mention other paywalled magazines like Consumer Reports). If your library doesn’t have access to the publication you’re looking for, they may even be able to get it through an inter-library loan . If you ever feel lost, don’t hesitate to ask a librarian—they probably know the process like the back of their hand, and will do their best to help you find what you’re looking for.

If you’re a student, your school or university likely has access to more databases than you can shake a stick at (not to mention hordes of physical journals you can hunt through). If you aren’t a student but have a college nearby, ask them if they offer fee-based library cards—you may be able to pay for in-house access to their vast resources.

Email the study’s author

Finally, if you can’t find a paper anywhere online, you might be able to get it directly from one of the people who wrote it. The money earned by those paywalls doesn’t go to the researchers—it goes to the publisher, so authors are often happy to give you a copy of their paper for free (provided they’re allowed to do so).

Finding their current email address is the hard part. Papers will often contain an email address you can contact for questions, but if this becomes out of date, you’ll have to do a little hunting. Find the university or organization the researcher currently works for, not the one they worked for when the study was first published. A little Googling can usually point you in the right direction, but sites like ResearchGate and LinkedIn can also help. Some researchers have a personal website that may be up to date, as well, and in some cases, may even have their previous work available to download. But if not, shoot them a message, ask politely if they’d be willing to send you a copy, and thank them for their hard work.

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This New Browser Plug-in Lets You Access Millions of Scientific Papers For Free

where to get free research papers reddit

If you're of the mindset that knowledge should be freely accessible to as many humans as possible, paywalls for academic journals can be downright frustrating. Now a free browser extension is promising to bust through those paywalls wherever possible.

Unpaywall was launched earlier this month by the open source not-for-profit Impactstory – funded by the National Science Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation – and it's already making a splash in the traditional publishing industry. 

Install the plug-in on your Chrome or Firefox desktop browser, and it will start displaying a little lock symbol whenever you're on the landing page of an article in an academic journal.

If the plug-in can find a freely accessible full-text copy of the paper you're looking at, the lock symbol turns from grey to green, and you can simply click on it to get the PDF. If the lock is gold, the article you're reading already has an open access licence.

unpaywall plugin settings in Chrome

Best of all, the full-text copies it serves up are totally legal. 

The plug-in works by scouring a database of over 90 million digital object identifiers (DOIs) , looking for publicly accessible copies of papers on pre-press servers and university websites. This is what sets it apart from the 'pirated' route of the infamous Sci-Hub , which sources the same published content by decidedly greyer methods.

"Unpaywall finds PDFs legally uploaded by the authors themselves, while Sci-Hub uses PDFs that are obtained by other means, including automated web scraping of publisher sites," states the plug-in's website .

"Sci-Hub's method delivers more comprehensive results, but is not super legal."

The plug-in's makers  claim the extension can find full-text versions for "65-85 percent of articles, depending on their topic and year of publication".

When I tried it out on 30 random papers, the lock changed colour for 19 of them, giving me a 63 percent access rating (for a tiny, highly unscientific sample).

But most of those 19 papers turned out to be open access already, and I only got seven papers which would otherwise have been behind a paywall. That being said, it's still a hell of a lot better than nothing.

This approach is not dissimilar to scanning Google Scholar in the hopes it retrieves a PDF somewhere, but it's certainly much more convenient. And the fact that Unpaywall plugs into the growing force of open access licensing means it might actually change how university libraries choose which subscriptions to shell out for.

"For years, libraries have had little expectation that the [open access] deposit of subscription articles would displace subscription access, mainly because locating those articles and providing access to them would be labour-intensive," scholarly communications expert Rick Anderson from the University of Utah told Dalmeet Singh Chawla at Nature .

"By making that process so much easier, Unpaywall could really change the game for us."

Most of us don't have the cash to shell out 30-40 bucks at a time for one paper, so it's no surprise that people have been turning to all these other methods for accessing scientific research - some more legal than others.

And there is increasing support for even the shadier ones, like Sci-Hub. As Fiona Macdonald reported for us last year , it's really not the same as pirating a movie:

"[S]cientists don't actually make any money for publishing their research. While journals can charge anything upwards of US$10,000 per year for a single subscription, researchers have little choice but to submit their work to them if they want to continue to get hired. For the most part, scientists get paid by grant money, which, you guessed it, is usually funded by our tax-payer dollars. So the real argument is this: if we're already paying scientists to do work for the public good, why can't we have access to the results of that work for free?"

With Unpaywall, it's now become easier to do just that.

If you're interested, you can download the extension for Chrome and Firefox here .

where to get free research papers reddit

Article type icon

21 Legit Research Databases for Free Journal Articles in 2024


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 2024.

Download Our Free Research Database Roundup PDF

Why peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles are more authoritative.

Peer-Reviewed Articles

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.

Open Access Journals

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.

Choosing Wisely

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

Identify keywords.

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.

Determining the Credibility of Scholarly Sources

Ensuring that sources are both credible and reliable is crucial to academic research. Use these strategies to help evaluate the usefulness of scholarly sources:

  • Peer Review : Look for articles that have undergone a rigorous peer-review process. Peer-reviewed articles are typically vetted by experts in the field, ensuring the accuracy of the research findings.
Tip: To determine whether an article has undergone rigorous peer review, review the journal's editorial policies, which are often available on the journal's website. Look for information about the peer-review process, including the criteria for selecting reviewers, the process for handling conflicts of interest, and any transparency measures in place.
  • Publisher Reputation : Consider the reputation of the publisher. Established publishers, such as well-known academic journals, are more likely to adhere to high editorial standards and publishing ethics.
  • Author Credentials : Evaluate the credentials and expertise of the authors. Check their affiliations, academic credentials, and past publications to assess their authority in the field.
  • Citations and References : Examine the citations and references provided in the article. A well-researched article will cite credible sources to support its arguments and findings. Verify the accuracy of the cited sources and ensure they are from reputable sources.
  • Publication Date : Consider the publication date of the article. While older articles may still be relevant, particularly in certain fields, it is best to prioritize recent publications for up-to-date research and findings.
  • Journal Impact Factor : Assess the journal's impact factor or other metrics that indicate its influence and reputation within the academic community. Higher impact factor journals are generally considered more prestigious and reliable. 
Tip: Journal Citation Reports (JCR), produced by Clarivate Analytics, is a widely used source for impact factor data. You can access JCR through academic libraries or directly from the Clarivate Analytics website if you have a subscription.
  • Peer Recommendations : Seek recommendations from peers, mentors, or professors in your field. They can provide valuable insights and guidance on reputable sources and journals within your area of study.
  • Cross-Verification : Cross-verify the information presented in the article with other credible sources. Compare findings, methodologies, and conclusions with similar studies to ensure consistency and reliability.

By employing these strategies, researchers can confidently evaluate the credibility and reliability of scholarly sources, ensuring the integrity of their research contributions in an ever-evolving landscape.

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

2. ScienceOpen

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.

Collection : 74,560,631

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.

Collection : 6,817,242

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.

Collection : 1,292,897

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.

Collection : 1,983,891

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

8. OpenDOAR

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

Research Databases

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.

Collection : 10,784

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

12. Paperity

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.

Collection : 8,837,396

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.

Collection : 5,884,702

14. EconBiz

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.

Collection : 1,075,219

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."

Additionally, the website includes resources to assist and support editors as part of their commitment to providing high-quality, peer-reviewed OA articles.

Collection : 507,212

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.

Collection : 44,458

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.

Collection : 500,000+

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.

Collection : 33,000,000+

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.

Collection : 203,379,033

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.

Collection : 2,220,000+

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.

Format Matters

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, 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 now you have a list of legit ones) can also help provide insight into whether an article comes from a peer-reviewed journal.

Free Online 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.

Scholarly Journal Articles

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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Reference management. Clean and simple.

The top list of academic search engines

academic search engines

1. Google Scholar

4., 5. semantic scholar, 6. baidu scholar, get the most out of academic search engines, frequently asked questions about academic search engines, related articles.

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 paywalls, 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 free academic search engines.

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 lets you find research papers for all academic disciplines for free but also often provides links to full-text PDF files.

  • 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

Search interface of Google Scholar

BASE is hosted at Bielefeld University in Germany. That is also where its name stems from (Bielefeld Academic Search Engine).

  • Coverage: approx. 136 million articles (contains duplicates)
  • Abstracts: ✔
  • Related articles: ✘
  • References: ✘
  • Cited by: ✘
  • Export formats: RIS, BibTeX

Search interface of Bielefeld Academic Search Engine aka BASE

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

Search interface of the CORE academic search engine 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 anymore 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)

Search interface of

Semantic Scholar is the new kid on the block. Its 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

Search interface of Semantic Scholar

Although Baidu Scholar's interface is in Chinese, its 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

Search interface of Baidu Scholar

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

Search interface of RefSeek

Consider using a reference manager like Paperpile to save, organize, and cite your references. Paperpile integrates with Google Scholar and many popular databases, so you can save references and PDFs directly to your library using the Paperpile buttons:

where to get free research papers reddit

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.

Semantic Scholar is a free, AI-powered research tool for scientific literature developed at the Allen Institute for AI. Sematic Scholar was publicly released in 2015 and uses advances in natural language processing to provide summaries for scholarly papers.

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).

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. 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!

where to get free research papers reddit

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Ways to get free and legal access to research papers as a researcher

I’ve discovered that website like ResearchGate offer the possibility to ask the paper editor to provide his paper for free. Many are collaborating.

Are there any other ways for researchers to obtain free access to papers?

  • publications

Kay's user avatar

  • 4 Research library... –  keshlam Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 11:50
  • 3 @keshlam: I don't have access to any research library I fear :( - but it would be nice to find any forum and ask people to download the paper and send to me. –  Revious Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 13:10
  • 4 @Revious That would break the licence that the person who downloaded the paper is bound by. –  MJeffryes Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 13:40
  • 2 @MJeffryes: ok, this means it cannot be done publicly. But p2p and streaming are very spread realities and it's completely legal to say they exist. I wonder if there is something similar for research papers. This comment is legal, but if it's not welcome mod can delete it. –  Revious Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 13:53
  • 16 It is completely unclear how many papers at ResearchGate are available legally . It is also completely unclear whether I should care. –  JeffE Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 15:32

4 Answers 4

I always use the following methods to get many inaccessible papers.

  • Open Google Scholar.
  • Search the title of the paper.
  • Click see all versions (you can see many places where the same paper is available)
  • Check one by one whether they are downloadable

Another method, I always use when I really need an inaccessible paper, is just to write an e-mail to the corresponding author to send that paper. My experience is that I have always received the paper in a return email.

Wrzlprmft's user avatar

  • 2 Our university has better access than I do at home, too. You may be able to check if your institution has some sort of access (at home I can VPN onto campus). Depends on where OP is searching at. –  enderland Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 15:45
  • You are right. It is really good if a institute has access to a large number of journals. But what about those journals to which the same institute has no access. So it is natural to face difficulties while downloading an essential paper from such journals. That is why I have mentioned inaccessible paper... –  Kay Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 16:10
  • 2 The other thing you can do is go through a university library -- try to get yourself some sort of position or student status (could be as an unmatriculated student, could be an online course). –  aparente001 Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 20:36
  • 2 @Kayan - Sorry, I only just refreshed the page and saw your comment. The solution in that case is Interlibrary Loan . –  aparente001 Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 20:37
  • 1 It will be nice to see some screenshots here –  Ooker Commented Aug 22, 2015 at 6:13

It turns out that a related survey was posted last year in this PLOS blog post on how paleontologists access the (non-open access) literature :

enter image description here

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.

Note that it doesn't indicate the legality.

FYI: Bulk download Sci-Hub papers

Community's user avatar

The website mentioned here is obviously and blatantly illegal, but gives access to almost all journals ever published. It's very easy to use and more complete than our direct subscriptions. I might almost use it for stuff I have legal but slow access to.

Use or do not use depending on your views on the "illegal" consumption of research.

VonBeche's user avatar

  • 1 As the "illegal" consumption of research increases, this may hurt the editors, the publishers, and even the researchers themselves. ❧ I would downvote you if I had enough reputation points. –  unforgettableidSupportsMonica Commented Apr 21, 2017 at 3:59
  • 9 Let's be a bit realistic here: maybe the purchasing of individual articles accounts for 1% of the publisher's revenue. How is that going to hurt me as a researcher? It's not like I'm getting paid for reviewing or editing anyway. –  VonBeche Commented Apr 21, 2017 at 7:23
  • A) 1%? Citation needed. B) Researchers depend upon publishers. When publishers get hurt, so do researchers, indirectly. –  unforgettableidSupportsMonica Commented Sep 28, 2017 at 6:58
  • 6 A) That's why I write maybe. Maybe it's more, maybe it's less. Either way, not a lot. B) I don't depend on publishers, publishers depend on me. When all the closed access only publishers disappear, we still have all the open access guys left, as well as things like Arxiv and whatever will take the place of Nature. Don't forget that a lot of Journals are not published by companies like Elsevier, but by associations or societies that could run on other sources of income. –  VonBeche Commented Oct 3, 2017 at 15:31

Ask your public library (maybe not a local branch, but a large city's one). In some places, libraries are able to help citizens access journals. Another option might be national libraries - eg the British Library.

Flyto's user avatar

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“The only truly modern academic research engine” is a search engine for academic papers, specialising in open access. we have over 250 million papers in our index..

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Florida prosecutors knew Epstein raped teenage girls 2 years before cutting deal, transcript shows


FILE - This photo provided by the New York State Sex Offender Registry shows Jeffrey Epstein, March 28, 2017. On Monday, July 1, 2024, Florida Circuit Judge Luis Delgado released the transcripts of a 2006 grand jury investigation that looked into sex trafficking and rape allegations made against Epstein. (New York State Sex Offender Registry via AP, File)

FILE - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at the Palm Beach Police Department, Feb. 29, 2024, in Palm Beach, Fla., just before signing a bill to release the transcripts of a 2006 grand jury investigation that looked into sex trafficking and rape allegations made against Jeffrey Epstein. On Monday, July 1, 2024, Florida Circuit Judge Luis Delgado released the grand jury transcripts. (Damon Higgins/The Palm Beach Post via AP, File)

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Florida prosecutors knew the late millionaire and financier Jeffrey Epstein sexually assaulted teenage girls two years before they cut a plea deal that has long been criticized as too lenient and a missed opportunity to imprison him a decade earlier, according to transcripts released Monday.

The 2006 grand jury investigation was the first of many by law enforcement over the past two decades into Epstein’s rape and sex trafficking of teenagers — and how his ties to the rich and the powerful seem to have allowed him to avoid prison or a serious jail term for over a decade.

The investigations uncovered Epstein’s close ties to former President Bill Clinton and Britain’s Prince Andrew , as well as his once friendly relationship with former President Donald Trump and numerous others of wealth and influence who have denied doing anything criminal or improper and not been charged.

Circuit Judge Luis Delgado’s release of approximately 150 pages Monday came as a surprise, since there was scheduled hearing next week over unsealing the graphic testimony. Gov. Ron DeSantis had signed a bill in February allowing the release on Monday or any time thereafter that Delgado ordered. Florida grand jury transcripts are usually kept secret forever, but the bill created an exemption for cases like Epstein’s.


The transcripts show that the grand jury heard testimony that Epstein, who was then in his 40s, had raped teenage girls as young as 14 at his Palm Beach mansion, often paying them so he could commit statutory rape or assault. The teenagers testified and told detectives they were also paid cash or rented cars if they found him more girls.

“The details in the record will be outrageous to decent people,” Delgado wrote in his order. “The testimony taken by the Grand Jury concerns activity ranging from grossly unacceptable to rape — all of the conduct at issue is sexually deviant, disgusting, and criminal.”

In 2008, Epstein cut a deal with South Florida federal prosecutors that allowed him to escape more severe federal charges and instead plead guilty to state charges of procuring a person under 18 for prostitution and solicitation of prostitution. He was sentenced to 1.5 years in the Palm Beach County jail system, during which he was allowed to go to his office almost daily as part of a work-release program, followed by a year of house arrest. He was required to register as a sex offender.

Criticism of the deal resulted in the 2019 resignation of Trump’s labor secretary, Alex Acosta, who was the U.S. attorney for South Florida in 2008 and signed off on the deal. A 2020 Justice Department investigation concluded that Acosta used “poor judgment” in his handling of the Epstein prosecution, but it didn’t rise to the level of professional misconduct.

The chief prosecutor in the Epstein case, former Palm Beach County State Attorney Barry Krischer, did not immediately respond Monday to an email and a voicemail seeking comment about the transcripts’ release.

Current Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg, who was not involved in the investigation, said in a statement he is glad the records have been released. He said he has not yet read the transcripts, so could not comment on whether Krischer should have pursued a tougher prosecution of Epstein.

Brad Edwards, an attorney for many of the victims, said in a statement that the transcripts show that Krischer’s office “took the case to the Grand Jury with an agenda — to return minimal, if any, criminal charges against Jeffrey Epstein.”

“A fraction of the evidence was presented, in a misleading way, and the Office portrayed the victims as criminals,” he said. “It is so sad, the number of victims Epstein was able to abuse because the State carried water for him when they had a chance to put him away.”

Epstein’s estate is paying $155 million in restitution to more than 125 victims.

According to the transcripts, Palm Beach Police Detective Joe Recarey testified in July 2006 that the initial investigation began when a woman reported in March 2005 that her stepdaughter who was in high school at the time said she received $300 in exchange for “sexual activity with a man in Palm Beach,” Recarey testified.

Another teenager, whose name was redacted in the transcript, told detectives that she was 17 years old when she was approached by a friend who said she could make $200 by providing a massage at Epstein’s home.

At the house, when Epstein tried touching her, she told him she was uncomfortable. He then told her that he would pay her $200 if she brought “girls” to the house. “And he told her, ‘The younger, the better,’” Recarey said.

Over time she brought six friends to Epstein’s house, including a 14-year-old, and likened herself to Hollywood Madame Heidi Fleiss in October 2005 interviews, Recarey recounted.

When she brought over a 23-year-old friend, Epstein told her that the friend was too old.

“The more you did, the more money you made,” the detective said the teen told him. “She explained that there was going to be a massage or some possible touching, and you would have to provide the massage either topless or naked.”

Another teen testified she visited Epstein’s house hundreds of times in the early 2000s, starting when she was 16. She testified that Epstein paid her $200 each time she gave him a massage while naked, rented her a car and gave her $1,000 the time he raped her.

A 2005 police search of Epstein’s mansion found evidence supporting the girls’ testimony. Also, Epstein’s houseman told detectives that the teenagers who came to the mansion were “very young. Too young to be a masseuse.”

Epstein in 2018 was charged with federal sex trafficking crimes in New York — where he also had a mansion that was a scene of abuse — after the Miami Herald published a series of articles that renewed public attention on the case, including interviews with some victims who had been pursuing civil lawsuits against him. Epstein was 66 when he killed himself in a New York City jail cell in August 2019, federal officials say.

Delgado in his order wrote that the transcripts show why Epstein was “the most infamous pedophile in American history.”

“For almost 20 years, the story of how Jeffrey Epstein victimized some of Palm Beach County’s most vulnerable has been the subject of much anger and has at times diminished the public’s perception of the criminal justice system,” Delgado wrote.

Associated Press reporters Mike Schneider in Orlando, Florida, Curt Anderson in St. Petersburg, Florida, and Stephany Matat in West Palm Beach, Florida, Kim Chandler in Montgomery, Alabama, and Sudhin Thanawala in Atlanta contributed to this report.


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Best Sci-hub alternatives to download free research articles

10 Best Sci-hub Alternatives to Download Research Papers for Free

posted on April 7, 2020

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Why do we need to discuss Sci-hub Alternatives? As we know that Sci-hub is an amazing website with millions of research articles for students and scholars. All the paper it provides is almost free.

Sci-Hub website obtains research papers &  paywalled articles using those credentials which are leaked. The credentials source used by this website is unclear. However, there is an assumption that few materials were donated while others are obtained via phishing.

Sci-Hub and its founder were sued more than once for copyright infringement. They lost both the case and costs and as well as their official name of the domain. After this incident, it cycled through almost similar domain names since then.

Some people have criticism for them violating copyright policies. While many people are in full support with respect to Sci-hub because of it very helpful and for the whole world betterment. However, Were not here to throwing judgment whether its false or not. You can decide based on your perspective. we are just here to cover Sci-hub alternatives.

Science publishing is expensive ( or pretends to be ). Accessing paywalled research papers by early researchers of developing countries is becoming difficult. Most of them are using Sci-hub to download free research articles. Unfortunately, being an illegal way for downloading papers , Sci-hub keeps changing its domain name. There are few Sci-hub alternatives. You can use them to access paywalled papers.

Best Sci-hub Alternatives claims to have 52,429,917 articles in their repository. It seems they are loading these papers from IPs used by Sci-hub. The search feature of this website is quite more friendly as compared to the Sci-hub.

Even if you fail to find the desired research article, it shows you the suggestions to other similar articles. It is useful in finding the research articles of a particular niche and to download them for free.

Library Genesis is one of the oldest repositories of research articles. It claims to have the 2M files in their servers. The user interface of this website is a bit old but still works great. Its advanced search feature allows downloading research papers by filtering your search results. You can shortlist your search research by Author Name, Year, Journal etc.

They also have a directory of different science topics. You can move through this directory to find the right articles for your study and download them for free. Torrent download is also supported on Library Genesis if you wish to download the whole repository.

For developers, the code this website is also available. You can download it through their website. There is the Russian language version of this website also. This not only allows you to change the language of the website but also to search for research papers in the Russian Language.

This website seems to bit new and using Sci-hub servers in the background to allows access to paid research articles for free download. The content of this website is more recent as compared to other websites.

The interface is very simple and straight-forward. You can search the article by DOI, PubMed ID or even by pasting the URL to the research article.


CyberLeninka is a Russian scientific electronic library and has many contents almost in millions. According to Wikipedia, as per Webometrics, analysis is selected among the top 5 open archives in the world. You can use it as the sci-hub alternative. The website is user friendly and can give you access to many of the research papers.

HAL archives-ouvertes

This is my favourite sci-hub alternative. The website is in french but if you are using google chrome, there there is translating English option (builtin translator). Now you can have access to millions of research articles and journals.

Open Access Button

The Open Access Button is another Sci-hub alternative. It is a browser bookmarklet and aids you in many ways. If you do not want to get paywalls, then this browser extension will be beneficial for you. It is conducted by the Right to Research Coalition and Medsin UK. It was launched on 21 October 2014 as part of open access week on.

You can also have its chrome extension, if you want to. This extension searches for free  research paper availability in different databases and gives you free access. You don’t need to search in different places. However, if you don’t want its extension, then you go do your job on the official website.

Wiley Online Library

This is not the Sci-hub alternative unlike others. The database also isn’t huge but it does include the new research articles and journals. Don’t underestimate this website site because of the low content number. This is quite new in the market and it’s continuously growing in the terms of research articles and journals.


SpringerLink is the best Sci-Hub alternatives as well. A lot of people globally are using this website to download research papers and scientific journals. This database is consistently increasing day by day as the team behind this amazing website is adding new research papers on a regular basis.


This is the most widely used Sci-hub alternative being used globally. The scholars can have access to the interactive discovery environment for the enhancement of their research activities. ScienceOpen also has an experienced Advisory Board & Editorial. They regulate the whole infrastructure.

CORE stands for COnnecting Repositories. Knowledge Media Institute provides this, based at The Open University, UK. CORE gives you free access to millions of research papers. They don’t charge a penny and all content is free. It also gives you filters so that you can narrow down your search for accurate results. This Sci-hub alternative provides you PDF version as well.

There are some other Sci-hub alternatives but we find these best for you. If not these, what are you doing to download research papers?

If any website stopped working, Please feel free to comment so we can provide the new working URL.

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About Ayesha Hameed Khattak

I am a Bioscientist and as well as the content writer currently working in the Jaamiah organization.

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November 29, 2018 at 11:34 am

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Trump wounded at rally in assassination attempt; gunman killed

Former President Donald Trump survived a brazen assassination attempt Saturday evening as a 20-year-old gunman opened fire on a campaign rally, injuring Trump's right ear and killing a spectator, officials said.

Trump was rushed off stage with blood dripping on his face after gunshots rang out at the rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, and the sniper, identified by the FBI as Thomas Matthew Crooks of Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, was killed by Secret Service agents. Two specators were in serious condition.

"This evening we had what we are calling an assassination attempt against our former president, Donald Trump," Kevin Rojek, FBI special agent in charge, said at a late-night press conference in Butler. The FBI has not released the motive in the attack.

Trump said he was shot in the ear and an email sent out late Saturday night from his campaign team quoted him saying, "I will never surrender."

Secret Service Spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement that Crooks fired multiple shots toward the stage at approximately 6:15 p.m. Crooks had been positioned on a rooftop more than 100 yards from the rally site.

Lt. Col. George Bivens of the Pennsylvania State Police said law enforcement is following up on a “number of suspicious occurrences” including accounts from witnesses who said they tried to flag police about the activity of a person outside the rally moments before the shooting.

More: Citing his recent comments, Republicans blame Joe Biden for Donald Trump rally shooting

“It is surprising,” Rojek said when asked about the alleged gunman’s close vicinity to the rally. He said the gunman's proximity is among the details that will come out in the investigation. Rojek added: “The Secret Service really needs to answer that question. They conduct the initial site survey.”

Trump reached for his ear as the gunfire erupted. Attendees at the rally began screaming as agents pushed Trump to the ground.

The former president was removed from the site by Secret Service, with his fist raised. Steven Cheung, Trump's spokesperson, confirmed in a statement that the former president is "fine" but had seen doctors at an area medical facility.

A Secret Service posting on social media confirmed that agents "neutralized" the assassin and that he was dead. Law enforcement recovered an AR-style rifle from the scene. A male innocent bystander at the rally was killed, the FBI confirmed.

The former president said in a statement that “It is incredible that such an act can take place in our country."

Gunman identified as Thomas Matthew Crooks

The man who shot former President Donald Trump at a Pennsylvania political rally has been identified as Thomas Matthew Crooks.

"The FBI has identified Thomas Matthew Crooks, 20, of Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, as the subject involved in the assassination attempt of former President Donald Trump on July 13, in Butler, Pennsylvania," the Bureausaid i a statement. "This remains an active and ongoing investigation, and anyone with information that may assist with the investigation is encouraged to submit photos or videos online at  or call 1-800-CALL-FBI."

Crooks was killed by law enforcement officials moments after he opened fire.

Crooks was registered as a Republican and was in active voting status, according to the database service LexisNexis. He appears to have attended Bethel Park High School, graduating in 2022.

−Christopher Cann and Aysha Bagchi

FBI says it is almost ready to identify shooter

Rojek, a special agent in charge of the FBI's Pittsburgh field office, said the bureau isn't prepared to identify the shooter just yet.

"We are close to that identification, and as soon as we are 100% confident in who that individual is, we will share it," he said.

"With that being said, also, we do not currently have an identified motive, although our investigators are working tirelessly to attempt to identify what that motive was," Rojek added.

– Aysha Bagchi

White House: Biden speaks to Trump after shooting at rally

Joe Biden spoke to Donald Trump Saturday night after Trump was attacked at a rally in Pennsylvania.

Biden told reporters he had tried to call Trump, but the former president was with his doctors. A White House official said later that Biden spoke to Trump; Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro and Bob Dandoy, the mayor of Butler, Pennsylvania, where the rally was held.

No details of the conversation were disclosed.

–Michael Collins

More: Top Democrats condemn political violence after Trump assassination attempt

Trump returns to New Jersey

After his release from the hospital, Trump traveled back to New Jersey, where he has a home.

Television cameras filmed the Trump plane landing in Newark late Saturday.

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The former president is still scheduled to fly Sunday to Milwaukee, site of next week's Republican nominating convention. But it is not known whether Trump will stick to his schedule in light of the shooting.

– David Jackson

Law enforcement recovered AR-style rifle: reports

Law enforcement recovered an AR-style rifle from the scene of the shooting at Trump's Pennsylvania political rally, according to reports from the Associated Press and the New York Times . 

The AP cited a source familiar with the matter who wasn't authorized to discuss investigation details. The New York Times cited two law enforcement officials.

'Somebody failed'

A former Justice Department official and Trump legal aide called out the Secret Service after the close call in Pennsylvania on Saturday. 

"A sick person on a roof with a rifle shoots at the former president and misses killing him by an absolute quirk of fate," said Mark Corallo. "He turned his head a millimeter, and instead of it going through his brain, the shot glanced off his ear."

"A guy on a roof with a rifle. That's a security failure," said Corallo, who was a Justice Department spokesman in the early 2000s and later served as spokesman for Trump's legal team. 

"The job of the protective detail is to protect the president. Somebody failed. Donald Trump got shot and it is as dark a day for America as I can remember."

−Dan Morrison

Biden returning to White House after attack on Trump

President Joe Biden is cutting his weekend trip to Delaware short and heading back to the White House following the attack on Donald Trump at a rally in Pennsylvania.

Biden was scheduled to spend the weekend at his beach house in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, and then travel Monday to Texas to deliver a speech on civil rights and democracy at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin. Biden will now travel back to the White House on Saturday night.

– Michael Collins

FBI taking lead role in investigation after shooting at Trump rally, asks for tips

The FBI is assuming the role as "lead federal law enforcement agency" in the investigation of the shooting at Trump's Pennsylvania political rally, the bureau said in a statement late Saturday.

Special agents from the bureau's Pittsburgh field office responded immediately to the incident, including members of its crisis response team as well as evidence response technicians, the bureau said.

The bureau asked anyone with information that could help the investigation to call its tip line at: 1-800-CALL-FBI.

Merrick Garland denounces shooting as 'attack on our democracy'

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement that he had been briefed on the shooting at the Trump rally and several segments of federal law enforcement, including the FBI, are working with the Secret Service and local law enforcement.

"My heart is with the former President, those injured, and the family of the spectator killed in this horrific attack," Garland said.

Garland vowed to bring "every available resource to bear" on the investigation.

"We will not tolerate violence of any kind, and violence like this is an attack on our democracy," Garland said.

Trump VP finalists Vance, Rubio and Burgum offer prayer, horror and anger after shooting

Potential Republican vice presidential candidates - like many Donald Trump supporters - reacted to Saturday's  assassination attempt  with a combination of prayer, horror, and anger.

Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, all but blamed rhetoric from President Joe Biden's campaign, saying on the social media platform X that "today is not just some isolated incident."

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum also cited Trump's opponents in paying tribute to the wounded 2024 GOP candidate. "We all know President Trump is stronger than his enemies," Burgum said on X. "Today he showed it."

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., offered a prayerful statement: "God protected President Trump." He also posted some of the news stories about the shooting, and criticized aspects of the news coverage.

− David Jackson

House lawmakers to investigate shooting

The House Oversight committee will hold a hearing to investigate the shooting at Donald Trump's rally, Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., said in a statement Saturday. 

He said he has already contacted the Secret Service for a briefing and is asking Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle to appear at the hearing.

The House Homeland Security Committee has also requested an official briefing. "We will be conducting thorough oversight to ensure the American people receive answers," the committee posted on its X account.

− Riley Beggin

Trump supporters gather at Trump Tower

Hours after an assassination attempt on former President Trump during a rally in Pennsylvania, supporters gathered outside Trump Tower in New York City.

Some were waving flags, others were draped in them. Most were wearing MAGA hats. Around 10 p.m, there was also a heavy police presence at the entrance of the building and on the street.

Katie Sullivan, 48, a lawyer from Brooklyn, came to Trump Tower with her friends carrying lit candles. “I am here to support a fellow New Yorker, a fellow American and to make sure we are still part of a Republic.” 

She said she was worried about where the country was headed with this level of violence, and blamed rhetoric from the media and the Democrats for the attack on Trump. 

Linda Andrews, who works as nanny in Manhattan, said she felt compelled to come to Trump Tower because she was fearful that “things could fall apart at any time.”

“I want him to see that we are upset and that we love him.” 

— Swapna Venugopal Ramaswamy 

Lloyd Austin says violence at Donald Trump rally 'has absolutely no place in our democracy'

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in a statement on Saturday night that "The entire Department of Defense condemns this violence, which has absolutely no place in our democracy."

"This is not the way that we resolve our differences in America—and it must never be. I’m relieved that reports indicate former President Trump is safe, and I am praying for him and his family and everyone affected by this appalling incident," he added.

− Tom Vanden Brook

Schumer, Jeffries react to shooting

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., posted statements on social media condemning political violence following the shooting.

"I am horrified by what happened at the Trump rally in Pennsylvania and relieved that former President Trump is safe. Political violence has no place in our country," Schumer said.

Jeffries said his "thoughts and prayers" were with the former president.

"I am thankful for the decisive law enforcement response. America is a democracy. Political violence of any kind is never acceptable," Jeffries said.

−Rachel Barber

VP Harris reacts to shooting at Trump rally

Vice President Kamala Harris said she and first gentleman Doug Emhoff were relieved that Trump was not seriously injured. 

“We are praying for him, his family, and all those who have been injured and impacted by this senseless shooting,” she said in a statement.She said they were grateful to the United States Secret Service, first responders, and local authorities for their immediate action.“Violence such as this has no place in our nation,” she said. “We must all condemn this abhorrent act and do our part to ensure that it does not lead to more violence.” −Swapna Venugopal Ramaswamy

Trump issues statement on shooting, calls it ‘incredible that such an act’ can take place in US

Former President Donald Trump issued a statement on the shooting, thanking the Secret Service and law enforcement and extending his condolences to this person who was killed at he rally.

“It is incredible that such an act can take place in our Country. Nothing is known at this time about the shooter, who is now dead,” Trump said in a statement on Truth Social.

“I was shot with a bullet that pierced the upper part of my right ear. I knew immediately that something was wrong in that I heard a whizzing sound, shots, and immediately felt the bullet ripping through the skin. Much bleeding took place, so I realized then what was happening. GOD BLESS AMERICA!”

−Joey Garrison

Netanyahu sends prayers to Trump

Shortly after news broke about the shooting, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he and his wife were praying for former President Donald Trump.

"Sara and I were shocked by the apparent attack on President Trump," he said in a post on X , formerly Twitter. "We pray for his safety and speedy recovery."

Mayorkas: DHS working with law enforcement partners to investigate Trump rally shooting

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Saturday that has been briefed on the shooting incident and that DHS is working with law enforcement partners to respond and investigate the shooting

Mayorkas said maintaining the security of presidential candidates and their events are top DHS priority.

“We condemn this violence in the strongest possible terms and commend the Secret Service for their swift action today,” he said in a statement. “We are engaged with President Biden, former President Trump, and their campaigns, and are taking every possible measure to ensure their safety and security.”

− Rebecca Morin

Biden calls shooting at Trump rally ‘sick,’ says he hopes to speak to Trump

Joe Biden delivered brief remarks about the shooting that occurred the Trump rally, calling it “sick” and saying he hopes to speak to Trump later Saturday night.

“There is no place for this kind of violence in America. It’s sick. It’s sick,” Biden told reporters at an emergency briefing room in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, where he is spending the weekend.

“It’s one of the reasons we have to unite this country. We cannot allow for this to be happening. We cannot be like this. We cannot condone this.”

Biden said he has tried to get a hold of Trump by phone but has been unsuccessful. “So far it appears he is doing well,” he said, adding that every agency in the federal government is assembling to thoroughly investigate the shooting. “There’s some reports, but not final reports.”

“The bottom line is, the Trump rally was a rally that should have been able to be conducted peacefully and without any problem,” Biden said. “But the idea – the idea – that there’s political violence, or violence in America like this, is just unheard of, it’s just not appropriate. Everybody, every must condemn it. Everybody. “

Biden said he will keep the public informed “and if I’m able to speak to Donald, I’ll let you know that as well.”

Biden, when asked whether he believes the shooting was an assassination, said: “I have an opinion but I don’t have any facts. I want to make sure I have all the facts before I make some comment.”

− Joey Garrison

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Former Secret Service agent says apparent shooting may not immediately change Republican convention security

Former Secret Service agent Joe Funk told USA TODAY changing security for the Republican National Convention won't be up next.

Now that Trump has been determined safe per reports from the Secret Service, the next steps are less about changing plans for Monday, and more finding how the violence happened in the first place. 

"Most of the work that Secret Service is going to do is going to be pre-incident, 'how did this guy get in... who is he? What was his motive? Is he connected with any other individuals?," Funk said. "I think you're going to see a lot of work pre-incident versus enhancing or ramping up security post-[incident]." 

− Sam Woodward

Donald Trump Jr. says his father is in 'great spirits'

Donald Trump Jr., the president's son, shared in a statement: “I just spoke to my father on the phone and he is in great spirits. He will never stop fighting to save America, no matter what the radical left throws at him.”

Biden campaign suspending TV ads after shooting

An official from the Biden campaign said it is pausing all outbound communications and working to pull down all of its television ads as quickly as possible following the shooting at the Trump rally.

Joe Biden set to address apparent gunfire at Trump rally

Joe Biden is scheduled to address reporters on camera Saturday on the incident at Trump’s rally. No time has been given.

Biden’s campaign said it is pausing all outgoing communications and working to pull down its television ads as quickly as possible.

− Michael Collins

Joe Biden: 'There's no place for this kind of violence in America'

Stunned reactions immediately began pouring in from both sides of the aisle. President Joe Biden, in a statement, said, “I have been briefed on the shooting at Donald Trump’s rally in Pennsylvania. I’m grateful to hear that he’s safe and doing well. I’m praying for him and his family and for all those who were at the rally, as we await further information.“Jill and I are grateful to the Secret Service for getting him to safety. There’s no place for this kind of violence in America. We must unite as one nation to condemn it,” Biden said. 

George W. Bush, Laura Bush thank Secret Service

Former President George W. Bush said in a statement Saturday that "Laura and I are grateful that President Trump is safe following the cowardly attack on his life. And we commend the men and women of the Secret Service for their speedy response."

− USA TODAY staff

Mike Johnson, Nikki Haley, other Republicans react

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., confirmed in a post on X that he has also been briefed on the attack.

"This horrific act of political violence at a peaceful campaign rally has no place in this country and should be unanimously and forcefully condemned," Johnson shared.

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who competed against Trump for the 2024 Republican nomination, responded to the shooting in a post .

"This should horrify every freedom loving American. Violence against presidential candidates must never be normalized," Haley said. "We are lifting up Donald Trump, the entire Trump family, and all in attendance in prayer." 

Nancy Pelosi condemns political violence

Former House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., posted a statement to social media condemning the Trump rally shooting. Pelosi's husband survived a violent attack by a right-wing conspiracy theorist in their San Francisco home in 2022.

"As one whose family has been the victim of political violence, I know firsthand that political violence of any kind has no place in our society," Pelosi said. "I thank God that former President Trump is safe. As we learn more details about this horrifying incident, let us pray that all those in attendance at the former President’s rally today are unharmed."

--Rachel Barber

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Apparent shooting raises questions about Republican convention

The shocking moment also immediately raised questions about security at the Republican convention, set to begin next week. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., said in a post on X that the Secret Service "needs to come out ASAP and let us know how this happened and how everyone at the RNC and DNC conventions will be safe."

Texas official says he heard as many as eight shots

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller was in the front row at the rally in rural Pennsylvania and said he heard as many as eight shots, and saw a woman nearby who appeared to have been struck by gunfire.

"At first, I didn't know what it was," Miller told the American-Statesman by phone from the outdoor venue. "Then I heard 'pop! pop!,' and knew it was gunfire. Everybody got down but I stayed standing up to try to see what was going on."

Miller said that he was not harmed and did not know the condition of the woman who appeared to have been hit.

− John Moritz

Contributing: USA TODAY Network

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  19. 5 Best Places to Read Research Papers

    Arxiv. Arxiv (I believe it is pronounced "archive") is the most popular place to find research papers. There are several subsections but the ones to look at are machine learning and artificial intelligence. There is just so much you find here. In fact, there's so much there's an open source version of Arxiv called Arxiv Sanity.

  20. What Is Project 2025, and Who Is Behind It?

    The Biden campaign has attacked Donald J. Trump's ties to the conservative policy plan that would amass power in the executive branch, though it is not his official platform. By Simon J. Levien ...

  21. Studying Reddit: A Systematic Overview of Disciplines, Approaches

    This article offers a systematic analysis of 727 manuscripts that used Reddit as a data source, published between 2010 and 2020. Our analysis reveals the increasing growth in use of Reddit as a data source, the range of disciplines this research is occurring in, how researchers are getting access to Reddit data, the characteristics of the datasets researchers are using, the subreddits and ...

  22. 250 M+ Free Research Papers: Academic Research Reading App; AI

    Explore 250 Mn+ free research papers. Best AI literature search tool. Improve your academic research reading with R Discovery, the largest scholarly content repository with 40 M+ open access papers, 8M+ research summaries and highlights, 3M+ pre-prints, 32K+ journals, and 9.5M research topics.

  23. 'Scraping' Reddit posts for academic research? Addressing some blurred

    The research demonstrates a considerate approach to the handling, replication and anonymization of user Reddit data that lends to this data being used in a manner that concludes important research outcomes surrounding mental health in the time of Covid-19, yet also actively protects the unaware and non-consenting research 'participants ...

  24. Trump wounded at rally in assassination attempt; gunman killed

    Trump is 'fine' after an assassination attempt at a Pennsylvania rally. The shooter, identified as Thomas Matthew Crooks, was killed.

  25. Studying Reddit: A Systematic Overview of Disciplines, Approaches

    Abstract. This article offers a systematic analysis of 727 manuscripts that used Reddit as a data source, published between 2010 and 2020. Our analysis reveals the increasing growth in use of Reddit as a data source, the range of disciplines this research is occurring in, how researchers are getting access to Reddit data, the characteristics of ...

  26. George Clooney: I Love Joe Biden. But We Need a New Nominee

    Mr. Clooney is an actor, director and film producer. I'm a lifelong Democrat; I make no apologies for that. I'm proud of what my party represents and what it stands for. As part of my ...

  27. Which websites are available for free access of research papers?

    Reddit. Get help with your research. Join ResearchGate to ask questions, get input, and advance your work. ... Now most of the journals are not free to access research papers. Most of us now ...

  28. Why Britain Just Ended 14 Years of Conservative Rule

    The Daily is made by Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan ...

  29. How to Write Good Research Papers: Top 10 Tips from Reddit

    10 tips for Paper writing from Reddit: 1. Outlines are annoying, but it'll cut the time it takes you to write a paper in half. It lets you see how your ideas fit together, so you can move them ...