Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Accessing a paper in a non free journal

  1. Apr 16, 2012 #1


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I'm assignated to do a lab report which consist of a numerical molecular simulation of water with a very particular water model. My program is already running but my professor didn't talk a lot about the model in particular. At this point -and I think it's totally fair-, we're expected to search/learn most stuff on our own. So I made some researches on the internet about this very particular model and apparently it was invented in 2004 and is explained in details in a paper in the Journal of Chemical Physics. I would like to read more about it just by curiosity.
    Nevertheless it costs 28$ and I'm a person that doesn't save a single dollar per month, so 28$ would be too much in my case, especially if it's 9 pages long and I'm just "curious" about it. This would be as expensive as a textbook that could help me for a year.
    I went to the library of the physics campus of my university today and asked if they had the journal. They only have that journal for years 2000 to 2002, unfortunately.
    So here I am, tempting to write in the lab report "we use the water model XXXX[1].. [1]:J. Chem. Phys. 120, 6085 (2004); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.1652434" [Broken] without having read or even seen the paper I mention. Maybe it's common in academia to make reference to papers one has never read?! I have in mind "Annalen der phyzik" and people making reference to Einstein maybe without having read the original paper(s). But anyway I think that's strange and would rather not do it. But if I don't make reference to that paper it's like as if I had not searched at all about the paper which is untrue and it does interests me learning more about it.
    I don't really know what to do about this situation. Is there a free way to see the paper (I wouldn't download it if it's not free, but I want to see it and read through it)?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 16, 2012 #2
    Have you checked that your university does not have free online access? For example, I know out of experience that I can access almost any non-obscure journal using a proxy server from my university.
  4. Apr 16, 2012 #3


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Oh Interesting. I know the guy at the library well, I think he would have told me to check out online if it was possible. However I'm going to try tomorrow in case it works.
  5. Apr 17, 2012 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Yes, most universities have subscriptions to many scientific journals that you can at least access at the library.

    Whether they're actually accessible at the time you need them could be a different story. Someone actually has to remember to renew those subscriptions (or licenses for software that the university uses, for that matter). If a journal is seldom used, the staff could forget to renew the subscription and it could be quite a while before someone notices and complains. (And then they could look at the date the subscription expired and how long it took for someone to complain and decide maybe they don't really need that after all.)
  6. Apr 17, 2012 #5


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2016 Award

    Even if a library does not have a subscription, ask a librarian to see if he/she can get the article for you. In many cases, academic institutions have agreements with other institutions whereby they can get books, papers, etc. sent to them even if they don't have it or don't subscribe to it.

    In other words, never let a "no, we don't have them" stop you from ASKING for something.

  7. Apr 17, 2012 #6


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Like everybody else, the librarian has to work within a budget, so he might not want to tell students how to spend lots of library money by looking up papers at random:smile:

    But as Zz said, the purpose of librarians is to help you find the information you need, even if they sometimes appear to do the opposite!
  8. Apr 17, 2012 #7
    Alternately, many proud authors link to PDF's of their work on their homepages, and also just mailing the author, showing interest in his work and asking for a copy, gave a surprisingly high response rate.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
  9. Apr 17, 2012 #8


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    In the US, most libraries are part of an interlibrary loan system, which allows people to borrow or obtain materials from any library in the system by routing their request through their "home" library. Other countries may or may not have similar systems.
  10. Apr 17, 2012 #9
    Anyway: http://home.icpf.cas.cz/ivonez/AAA_TODAY/TIP5P-E.pdf [Broken]

    Found with this search.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  11. Apr 17, 2012 #10


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I think the moral of the story is never pay for online access, there's always a way to get it for free
  12. Apr 17, 2012 #11


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Thanks a lot guys. I couldn't access the computers at my university because classes were taught in the 2 rooms with computers. Furthermore the librarian I know well (even had a drink with him and other friends) wasn't there so I would have tried tomorrow. But apparently Andre found the paper on the Internet. It is exactly what I needed. I had searched with the title included within "'s and missed the 2nd link in google.
    Anyway I'll ask if I can access to that journal from my university for future researches.
    So once again, thanks a lot all and I must say I was lucky thanks to you. :smile:
  13. Apr 17, 2012 #12
    You're welcome, :smile: note that the addition "filetype:pdf" filters out a lot of noise.
  14. Apr 21, 2012 #13
    Hi Fluidistic,

    You can often find things on Google Scholar too.
    But you should be able to access your library's ejournals from your computer at home.
    If you don't know how, for sure check with the library staff. It's an essential tool.

    NQ :-)
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: Accessing a paper in a non free journal
  1. Free journals (Replies: 5)