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Go Beyond Library Databases With Unpaywall: A Free, Legal Way to Access Research Articles

It’s surprisingly expensive to access scholarly articles. Many important articles, vital for research, are behind paywalls—financial impediments from accessing the material. It might not seem like these articles are expensive while browsing through Bentley’s collection, but online access doesn’t come cheap. Generally, around half of library budgets often go to electronic resources. The most frustrating part? There are still more databases out there that are too expensive to justify purchasing. 

Fortunately, this trend of expensive scholarly articles is beginning to change. Many researchers are beginning to submit their works to open databases—where access to peer-reviewed articles is completely free and open to anyone. Websites like Digital Commons Network and Directory of Open Access Journals can locate millions of open access articles. 

There is even an extension on your browser that can check to see if a paywalled article is in fact open. Unpaywall is a free extension that you can easily download that will search for an open version of that article if it exists. Watch the brief video that Bentley Library created to learn more about Unpaywall.