Alternative access to articles
Open access articles
Open access articles are universally available on the Internet, free of charge. The articles may have been published open access from the outset, or an openly accessible version may be available in an institutional repository. Below are some of the services helping you to find open access publications, and browser extensions that automatically search for open access versions of articles.
Search engines/other services:
|Google Scholar||A Google search engine specializing in scholarly content.|
|Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE)||A search engine administered by the Bielefeld University Library for retrieving openly accessible scholarly material on the Internet.|
|ArXiv||An open access repository for physics, astronomy, computer science and mathematics.|
|Directory of Open Access Repositories||With OpenDOAR, you can retrieve material from open access repositories and their content.|
|1findr||A commercial platform for searching articles in peer-reviewed journals. Free edition has limited search options but it allows you to narrow results to include open access articles only.|
|CORE||A search engine and index for aggregated research publications from repositories and journals globally. Offers access to around 133 million articles. Developed by JISC and the Open University.|
|Dimensions||Apart from searching for publications and the possibility to search for cited and citing articles, Dimensions also indexes grants, patents, and clinical trials. The free version offers limited possibilities.|
|OSF Preprints||A platform with openly accessible preprints, or submitted manuscripts which are publicly distributed before acceptance and peer-review in a traditional scientific journal. OSF Preprints is developed by Centre for Open Science (COS), a non-profit organisation.|
|Zenodo||An open archive developed by CERN where researchers can deposit publications, preprints, software, and research data.|
|Unpaywall||Finds open access versions of articles.|
|OAButton||Finds open access versions of articles.|
|Google Scholar||Finds open access versions of articles.|
|Lazy Scholar||Finds open access articles and provides metrics and citations. Additionally, it can include articles behind paywalls via user’s own institution’s subscriptions.|
|Kopernio||Finds both open access versions of articles and articles which users have access to via institutional subscriptions. The service is free but belongs to Clarivate Analytics and you need to register in order to use the extension.|
If you are unable to find the article you need, you can ask the interlibrary loan service of your organisation to order the item for you. The library/information service will identify the library where the article is available and request a copy of the item.
The fees charged for interlibrary loans vary by organisation and customer group.
You can also purchase articles through the online services provided by the journals, by paying the price charged for each of the articles. The payments are usually by credit card. For more information, contact your organisation’s library/information service.
Articles from other researchers
You can also request articles from your colleagues working in other domestic as well as foreign organisations. Your colleagues can supply the article if this is permitted under the licence agreement concluded between their organisation and the publisher.
You can also make a direct request to the corresponding author. The author’s name is usually shown on the preview page of the article. Articles may also be requested and shared by researchers via such services as ResearchGate, Academia.edu, Humanities Commons and Mendeley.
Alternatively, you can make a request to the author via Twitter using the hashtag #icanhazpdf with a link to the publication you need.
Extensive sharing of articles is not usually permitted under the licence agreements.
How to access a scholarly article when the organisation does not have a valid licence agreement for the journal/journal package in question
Why do higher education institutions and research organisations only have access to a limited number of journals?
An organisation must have a subscription to an e-journal or e-journal package so that its users can read scholarly articles that are behind a paywall. Subscriptions to journal packages are expensive, and the costs arising from them have increased substantially over the last few years. This means that Finnish organisations have not been able to obtain access to all scholarly journals. Open access models are becoming a serious competitor for the traditional subscription model. Open access articles are universally available on the Internet, free of charge.
Access to subscribed material may be blocked if the terms and conditions for the new subscription period cannot be agreed with the publisher . Excessive pricing or other unreasonable terms and conditions may prevent the parties from reaching agreement.
Finnish higher education institutions and research organisations have formed the FinELib consortium, which negotiates annual e-resource subscription agreements with large international publishers.
FinELib has prepared an alternative access plan including tips on how researchers, teachers and students can access articles if the article cannot be found in the collections that the organisation has subscribed to. You can always turn to your organisation’s library/information service for more information and advice.
Take advantage of
open access benefits
During negotiations, open access benefits have been agreed upon regarding the journals of the following publishers:
American Chemical Society | Elsevier | Emerald
IEEE | Royal Society of Chemistry | Sage
Science Advances | Springer Nature | Taylor & Francis | Wiley
More information about publisher- and organisation-specific open access benefits is also available from your own library.