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Alternative Routes to Scholarly Journals

While the library provides access to over 70,000 scholarly journals, there will be times when you will need access to a journal not available through the library’s subscriptions. 

Below are several ways to legally get access to scholarly journal content beyond our subscriptions:

Find an Open Access Version

Increasingly scholarly articles are becoming available on an open access basis, often through institutional repositories like our own ARAN or through discipline-based repositories such as arXiv (Physical, Mathematical and Computer Sciences) or SocArXiv (Social Sciences) . The article version on these repositories will usually be the final draft post-refereeing (also known as the post-print), so the only difference to the published version is the absence of the publisher's type-setting, formatting, logos and pagination.  Several tools, services and browser plug-ins have been developed to help you find open access versions of journal articles:

  • Unpaywall – a browser plugin for Chrome or Firefox, which will display a green icon when you encounter a pay-wall for a journal article if an open access version of the article is available and will link you directly to it.
  • Open Access Button – a plugin for Chrome or Firefox that works similarly to Unpaywall – click on the button while you are viewing a pay-walled journal article and it will search for open access versions.  If it doesn’t find one, it will give you the option to have them ask the author to make the article available open access.  You can also search openaccessbutton.org directly for a known article by DOI or Citation.
  • Google Scholar – searching for an article in Google Scholar will link you to both the paywalled version of the article and openly available versions if available.  Please see our guide to configuring Google so that it will recognise you as an NUI Galway registered user and will link you to subscribed content where the library has a subscription.
  • Kopernio – another browser plugin from Clarivate Analytics that will link you to open access versions of articles as well as library subscriptions.  It is necessary to register (for free) to use this plugin.

Request an Inter-Library Loan

The Library’s Inter-Library Loan service can get a copy of material you need that the Library doesn’t own or subscribe to through our cooperative agreements with other libraries.  Journal articles are normally delivered within 2 days of request and are often available within a few hours.

Contact the author

Authors are permitted to share post-print copies of their published articles and are often happy to do so.  ResearchGate and Academia.edu are both platforms that facilitate making contact with researchers and requesting copies of their articles. As mentioned above OpenAccessButton.org also makes requesting an article from an author very easy.

 

 

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Email: library@nuigalway.ie
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