How to Get Hold of a Research Paper

2023-03-01 • 1 min read

Here are some ways of acquiring the full text of an academic paper:

  1. Search Sci-Hub. Give it the DOI (e.g. or, if that doesn’t work, give it the URL to the paper’s page at an academic journal (e.g.
  2. Search Libgen. Give it the DOI or title. (You can also use Libgen to find academic books.)
  3. Search Google Scholar. I often just search the paper’s name, and if I find it, there may be a link to the full paper (HTML or PDF) on the right of the search result. The linked paper is sometimes not the exact version of the paper I am after – for example, it may be a manuscript version instead of the accepted journal version – but in my experience this is usually fine.
  4. Search the web for "name of paper in quotes" filetype:pdf. If that fails, search for "name of paper in quotes" and look at a few of the results if they seem promising. (Again, I may find a different version of the paper than the one I was looking for, which is usually but not always fine.)
  5. Check the paper’s authors’ personal websites for the paper. Many researchers keep an up-to-date list of their papers with links to full versions.
  6. Request the paper on r/Scholar. Make sure to read the posting rules first.
  7. Email an author to politely ask for a copy. Researchers spend a lot of time on their research and are usually happy to learn that somebody is eager to read it.