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Where can I get full scientific papers (degree-PhD level) for free?

  1. Aug 18, 2012 #1
    Hey guys basically as the title says, I have been recently trying to find these papers but I have had no luck. All I seem to get is articles from Magazines like New Scientist and Scientific American. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance MattA147. :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 18, 2012 #2
    Here are some ideas.

    1. Know somebody who has access to paywalled papers
    2. Google the title of the paper in "parenthesis" together with filetype:pdf (that works many times)
    3. Find the homepage of the author and see if she/he links to his work
    4. Send an e-mail to the first author asking if he could drop you a copy. Works almost always too.
  4. Aug 18, 2012 #3


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    I take it you're not a university student? If so you should be able to access most journals through an institutional log on. Unfortunately most articles require a subscription or pay-per-article, the cost of which is usually beyond what an average person would be wise to spend. That said there are open access journals and articles. Some googling will allow you to find lists and databases of these.
  5. Aug 18, 2012 #4
    Thanks for your speedy replys guys. I am only a high school student so I don't exactly have contacts in the physics world. I will try your suggestions, thanks again for your time. :)
  6. Aug 18, 2012 #5
    Success Matt,

    If you have a special publication in mind, just post it and I'll see what I can do
  7. Aug 18, 2012 #6

    George Jones

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    Are you trying to find specific papers, or papers in general?

    Many physics papers are available at

  8. Aug 18, 2012 #7


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    As George Jones indicated, many physics papers are found on Arxiv.org. NASA and DOE make many papers and reports available, and it's easy to find reports or papers if one knows the institution, e.g., ORNL, INL, PNNL, NASA (and the centers GRC, KSC, JSC, . . . ).

    Otherwise, most scientific and technical papers are copyrighted by the publisher, and only legally available through subscription. University libraries may have bulk subscriptions for students and faculty.
  9. Aug 18, 2012 #8


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    MattA, do you live anywhere near a college that has a physics department? If you go to the physics department's library, you will have access to physics journals. They might allow you to copy them to a CD or thumb drive. If not, you could probably pay something like $0.10 per page to run off copies at a copy machine.
  10. Aug 18, 2012 #9
    Depending on the field, you might get very few free scientific papers. As already suggested, you should check out local college/university libraries.

    Some authors might put their papers free on the internet but problem comes when you have to look up at the referenced papers. Those referenced papers might not be free.

    You can also subscribe to something like IEEE Specturm.
  11. Aug 19, 2012 #10


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    In the biomedical sciences, researchers funded by the NIH are required to submit their published manuscripts to the PubMed Central site which is free for the public to access.
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