How to Access Research Articles for Free

“How to Access Research Articles for Free” The first issues of the first scientific
journals were published back in 1665, in which it was noted things like, hey,
it looks like there’s a spot on Jupiter, thanks to new telescopes
invented by a certain Mr. Newton, whose friend Halley described a comet. The same journal that reported that
oranges and lemons could cure scurvy, and something in willow tree
bark could bring down a fever. Also published, a letter by
some guy over in the colonies about playing with kites
during lightning storms, and an account of a remarkable 8-year-old
musician by the name of Amadeus, and within this last century some
sketchings of the structure of some molecule called DNA. A journal still in publication
to this day, 350 years later, available now online and in print for the low, low subscription
price of only $6,666 a year. As you can imagine, the
high price of journals leaves doctors in developing countries missing out on relevant
information about health. At that time, back in the ’90s, there
was optimism that by 2004 at least, the problem of access to life-saving
scientific information would be solved. But 2004 came and went,
setting their sights for 2015. Surely by then we can achieve
health information for all, as lack of access
remained a major barrier. Realistically, only scientists at really
big, well-funded universities in the developed world may have
full access to published research, and as prices rise even higher,
even that may no longer be true. You know there’s a problem
when even Harvard, as in $30-billion-dollar-
endowment Harvard, claims that costs for research
journals are now prohibitive. Meanwhile, the journal
publishers are raking in billions charging institutions up to
$35,000 a year per journal, and charging individuals
online per article. So you have a family member diagnosed
with some disease and you go online. You can read all sorts of internet drek, but if you want to see the actual
science, it can get expensive. And you likely paid for the research. Tax dollars pour in to fund the research, and then you can’t get access
to the research you paid for. It’s like if a nice little city park was built, but then some private firm came in
and started to charge admission. That’s roughly how it works
with scientific research, and this conversion of public research
dollars into private publishing profits has long been a source of discontent. The publishers don’t end up
paying anything for the research. They get it for free; they don’t
pay the researchers anything. So we pay for it, and then we have
to pay for it again if we want to read it. So it can end up with science as a profit
system, rather than science as knowledge. Enter Alexandra ElBakyan, nicknamed
by some the Robin Hood of Science. It’s the story of how one researcher made
nearly every scientific paper ever published available for free to everyone,
anywhere in the world. Named by perhaps the most prestigious
scientific journal in the world as one of the top 10 people who
mattered the most in science in 2016, Alexandra started out as just a
frustrated grad student in Kazakhstan, unable to access the scholarly papers
she needed for her research. Once she figured out how to
circumvent all the paywalls, she started a website, now at
[2018 update: try], to remove all barriers
in the way of science by giving away the world’s scientific,
medical, and nutrition literature for free. “What she did is nothing short
of awesome,” said one researcher. “Lack of access to the scientific
literature is a massive injustice, and she fixed it with one fell swoop.”

100 thoughts on “How to Access Research Articles for Free”

  1. Omg, here I am struggling to find "free full text" only articles for my school assignments, when a solution gets handed to me on a silver platter! Thank you for sharing.

  2. I graduated my phd in 2005 and at the time they were discussions among academics on the stupidity of evaluation of research based on publications in ranked journals. Glad that a few years later it went closer to a reality. A tons of things should still be done, based in my observation of behaviour of friends/collegues still working in research fields. Internet has still a long way to go to change our lifes.

  3. Awesome Dr. Greger. I work for MDPI which is among largest open access publishers nowadays. I use Sci-Hub all the time. Such a commodity it is.

  4. That slippery dog, Trump will get you to pay toll upon entering tomorrow in order to keep the rich as free as greed can become. for crying out loud!

  5. Oh great…Now it's just a matter of waiting for the impending removal of my most invaluable resource for school, as the site becomes more well known.

    this is why we can't have nice things 🙁

  6. No mention of the Open Access movement??? Sci Hub is not a solution to the problem, but a temporary, illegal workaround. The solution is stopping researchers relinquish their copyright to these journals and publishing their findings in Open Access journals. But oftentimes their "performance" is judged on citations and "impact-factor" of their papers. And those expensive journals, unreachable for the masses, oddly have high impact factors assigned to them.

  7. the fundamental problem is the current capitalistic economic system and the monetary-market paradigm. we need something like a resource-based economy ( ), where everyone is provided with basic resources, so that there's no need nor incentive in owning anything.

    resource abundance is indeed possible nowadays thanks to things like: vertical farming and sustainable agriculture (along the principles of permaculture), 3D printing (with which you can now even build houses quickly and relatively cheaply), renewable energy sources (solar, wind, geothermal, wave /tidal power).. and these are just some of the examples i know of.

  8. This is a very interesting topic. I tried to go to part 2 and the link was not found. I think this person could wind up in jail for violating copyright laws and the CFAA as it involves the internet. I took an IP (intellectual property) Law class and Internet law class. The laws are designed to encourage science by allowing those that pay for the research to profit from it. If a company pays for research where the findings can make them liable for something, they may want to suppress that. The IP laws can be confusing especially when it comes to the doctrine of fair use. There are international laws for IP and people that violate them can wind up being sued civil and criminal courts. Aaron Swartz, (November 8, 1986 – January 11, 2013) wound up committing suicide after being aggressively pursued under the CFAA for violation of copyright laws and computer laws. I do not agree with the fact that fair use is not being allowed where it should be. My dad is an IP attorney and he has discussed the fact that information and inventions are suppressed by companies so they can make money. For example, the light bulb manufacturers purchased the patent for a light bulb that used less energy and lasted years so that the public would continue using the bulbs that were inferior rather than invest in new factories or equipment they sat on the competition patent they purchased for decades. It is all about money. You have a copyright on your videos if someone else took them and copied them and charged money I think you might want to go after them.

  9. They destroyed Aaron Swartz for doing the same thing as Alexandra. He's dead now. Killed himself after the government came after him. Thankfully Alexandra doesn't live in the US, but I wager it's only a matter of time until she's renditioned to some CIA black site.

  10. I definitely know the stuggle of finding free articles for research in my field on dietetics! Thanks for the upload!

  11. Academic journal publishers had a great run (increasingly at society's expense), but now they're brazenly receiving economic rents for what was at one time long, long ago a justifiable service. What they're doing is so obviously obscene that it triggers most people's "cheater detection". The Internet has made them obsolete, and they've become absurd in their efforts to maintain their gravy train. If there were a "restart" button where everything in society could be created anew from scratch, academic journals would be some random guy standing on a street corner demanding $5 from every car passing through "his neighborhood". Actually, I take that back. They would the some random guy standing on a street corner demanding $6,600 from every car passing through his neighborhood.

  12. Maybe I’m using the site wrong but I’m not sure how to us it. I looked up the article and read that has been sued ? by Elsevier and they changed domain names, I went to .ca or .hk and tried typing in the link of a research article of Elsevier and hadn’t been able to access any further information….

  13. OMG, would have been nice to mention this guy: Maybe you didn't realize he concluded this a long time ago and got harassed by our government to the point where he committed suicide. Ah the irony of a piece about how to do better research, that was poorly researched. Still a good video thanks..

  14. Beside valuable information you share I found a way you edit your video with transitions and highlited text very engaging. Could you share your workflow of doing this?

  15. Thank you Dr. Greger. You did it again. Well, Alexandra did it, but you were the messenger.

  16. Research the evils of Monsanto. Also, why are people getting sick from Romain lettuce and other vegan foods?

  17. We can’t forget Aaron Swartz and his unfortunate persecution and death in the quest to make research available to all. Now we have two great open-source champions to remember.

  18. Probably the best video ever… Sir! ty so much for teach us how to improve ourselves and our knowledge! this site is huge omg <3

  19. Insert this code "" after ".com" in the link of an article to download it. Or you can use this site "" to search for the article or the book.

  20. This sounds great, but that site doesn't work for me. Maybe Dr. Greger will post a video on how to use the website in question. Otherwise, it is useless.

  21. Thank you sir!

    I'd like to know if fruit grown on full, semi-dwarf, and dwarf trees have nutritional differences?

  22. Use .cn instead of .io. the .io site has been revoked. You can look on Wikipedia to see several other extensions that will work.

  23. a jounral from 1666 outlining THE MOST INFLUENTIAL FIGURES of the time… and marketed for $6666?? You guys need to udnerstand this is an OCCULTOCRACY. an ancient priesthood of alchemists and magi of the highest order from then til now. seeking power and control viz absolute knowledge and study of esoterica in science and human conditioning with the natural world. hope that makes it clearer! why do u think they want to imprison and render a mysterious "heart attack" unto this hero who's struck down the ivory science tower of babel with her brilliant and valiant efforts to set science free from …… THE ELIMINATI. 😉

  24. Not only do we pay for it and then have to pay for it again, but researchers have to pay the journal fees for publishing. Especially if they want color images. It's crazy. Journals don't even have to cover 100% of their own publishing & printing costs.

  25. Well done young lady!!
    So frustrating as a physician to go on pubmed, being redirected to journal websites paying $25, $50, $110 just to read a paper about something that may clinically relevant or just being forced to read free only articles.

  26. Freaky how right about the time this was posted I was thinking about asking for the most important recipe of all: how to become a Dr. Greger? As in how to find the time and funds to get an evidence-based educational project off the ground

  27. Please help! why were these findings found and how do we fix the issue.

    Orzylowska EM, Jacobson JD, Bareh GM, Ko EY, Corselli JU, Chan PJ. Food intake diet and
    sperm characteristics in a blue zone: a Loma Linda study. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol.

    While consumption of fruits, vegetables, and nuts seem to be a protective factor
    for sperm DNA fragmentation, would a diet that consists of only these food
    groups—vegetarians and vegans—lower the sperm DNA fragmentation? A popula-
    tion study was conducted on lifelong vegans, lacto-ovo-vegetarians, and nonvege-
    tarians, and no difference in chromatin integrity was found between the three
    groups. Furthermore, vegan and vegetarian diet had a negative impact on other
    sperm variables

  28. Dr. Greger, take a look at the "Human optical axial length and defocus" study.

    To investigate the short-term influence of imposed monocular defocus on human optical axial length (the distance from anterior cornea to retinal pigment epithelium) and ocular biometrics.

    How to reverse myopia?

  29. Dr Greger and associates, I think you may have just saved my life.
    This website has provided me with an abundance of answers to questions that countless specialists were clueless to.
    I can't thank you enough for this gift of vital knowledge. ♡

  30. The monetary system is the great enemy of science and health. It paralyses progress and rewards corruption. We need the global Resource Based Economy to be implemented as soon as possible. No more price tags on information. No more industry-funded studies. No more begging for donations. No more price tags on fruits and vegetables. Please explore and tell everyone you know about it. Support the only known project that aims to end the root cause of all urgent problems.

  31. Academic journal publishers depend on universities and researchers for their material. In this internet age they no longer serve a function, they're just a leech in the system. Universities need to rid themselves of these relics, and start making their research accessible through other channels for the benefit of all.

  32. Dr: Son what are you doing upstairs?
    Son: I am browsing the Hub, dad.
    Dr: Ah, Sci Hub… What a coincidence, I just made a video about it!
    Son: Uh… I'm browsing … some kind of Hub…

  33. it is about much more than just the profit of publishers. the intent is to keep information out of the hands of the people. The entire medical profession would be shut down if people became educated enough to see the folly behind government sponsored medicine.

  34. No wonder folks cannot figure out what to eat to be healthy and fall prey to fad diets and such (not being able to reference adequate evidence based science-wink) Same thing with our financial history. It should be private, but many companies store it and sell it for profit without sharing that profit with us, the suppliers. The system is corrupt as well as those that own it and run it.

  35. Oh no, isn't working now. Still, thanks for the info Doc.

    Wait, I see the correct one in the video description. Worked!!!

  36. I found this recently, let's all sing praises to antidepressants when hemp oil will actually help you lose weight and help with depression.

    Antidepressant Use Linked to Weight Gain Even Years Later

    Patients at peak risk years after taking the drugs.

    Antidepressants are associated with significant weight gain, according to a new long-term study published in the BMJ.

    Researchers at King’s College London found that all twelve of the leading antidepressants — including fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), and escitalopram (Lexapro) — increased risk for weight gain for up to six years after starting treatment.

    “Patients who were normal weight were more likely to transition to overweight and overweight patients were more likely to transition to obesity if they were treated with antidepressants,” co-author Dr. Rafael Gafoor, a primary care and public health researcher at King’s College London, told Healthline.

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