Obtaining full text literature: a Knowledge Exchange guide

I’m frequently asked how I get full papers that aren’t open access. I do have University access which is incredibly helpful, but here are a few other options that eliminate the need to go back to University.

1. You can get plugins for your browser that will search the internet for free and legal versions of the paper. This is quite good and something I prefer to use before taking the less acceptable routes (see below). Kopernio is one such plugin that has some success: https://kopernio.com/invite/e3336901 another is unpaywall: https://unpaywall.org/

2. If you are a University Alumni, in most cases you can sign up to receive a University Alumni Library membership which will give you limited access to some databases.

3. In Australia, the State and National libraries have free membership that will give you access to a bunch of journals. I use google scholar for a lot of my searches and in doing so it gives you an option in settings to enter in your various library memberships and will provide links to full papers if they have been found. National Library: https://www.nla.gov.au/

4. Researchgate is another option. It is worth making an account as many researchers may have their work available there. If not, you can always email them and ask nicely! https://www.researchgate.net/

5. If all else fails, there is Sci-Hub. It is the pirate-bay of the geeky science world. You can type in the DOI, or title of a paper and it will bypass the paywall and find you the paper. I don’t advocate for this page, but at the same time, I believe that translation of knowledge into practice is the only way we evolve healthcare. http://sci-hub.tw/

Hopefully, this provides you with some new strategies if you’ve been wondering how to get full papers. To set up your different libraries in google scholar watch the following video to help make your life of learning a little more stream lined!

Brendan Mouatt