How to access research papers for free

By: AngeloBrinkley

Students will always have a reason to read other research papers as part of their studies or when finding ideas on how to write their assignment.

 All research papers may not have the best or most relevant information. You should find the most reliable that are available in from these sources.

 Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

DOAJ is a multidisciplinary community-curated directory that offers researchers access to peer-reviewed journals of the highest quality. It is an archive of over two million articles from over 9,000 journals allowing researchers to browse by subject or search by keywords. This website aims to increase visibility for open access scholarly journals. DOAJ that has been in place since 2003 has content covering various subjects from sciences to humanities and anything between the two.

 Science Open

ScienceOpen offers open access to over 28 million articles from all areas of science. It is free to register although even the non-registered best custom essay writing services people can still view full text in the articles.  You can get highly detailed results by using the advanced search function that finds the precise research for the search term.

Public Library of Science (PLOS)

PLOS is a nonprofit organization providing open access to scientific sources.  It has global recognition as a provider of open access science. It is dedicated to facilitating openness in the academic research and has published several open access journals. Researchers can access scientific articles free and promptly from any point.

ArXive e-Print Archive

Cornell University Library runs this archive which now is a popular resource in the fields of computer science and mathematics. It has been in place since 1991 and offers open access to over a million e-prints.

Education Resources Information Center (ERIC)

ERIC is a service by Institution of Educational Sciences that allows researchers to search for material relating to their field of education by topic. It has links leading to other sites with more information although some sell it.  ERIC still allows a free search of full-text articles. It indexes grey literature (for example white papers, technical reports and government documents), journals and books.


CORE is an aggregation of multidisciplinary open access research allowing users to find more than 66 million articles. It directly hosts five million records while others link to a full-text article found at the original site by the publisher. CORE offers straightforward keyword search as well as advanced search options that filter results by:

  • Type
  • Years
  • Journal
  • Author
  • Language
  • Repository

You can also visit CORE to learn about the formatting of research papers.


OpenDOAR (Directory of Open Access Repositories) is a comprehensive resource for researchers to find open access articles and journals.  It returns the most relevant research for all disciplines after combing through open access repositories around the world using Google custom search. OpenDOAR staff assesses and categorizes all the repositories it searches to ensure that they meet the quality standards.

Social Science Research Network (SSRN)

SSRN is a collection of scholarly papers from the social science community. It is a site with over 70,000 abstracts and over 600,000 full-text papers.  There is no specific option of searching for full-text articles, but it is rare to encounter a paywall because most papers are free to access. SSRN offers free membership, and it is only registered members who enjoy the interaction with other scholars all over the world.

As you can see, there are options on how to access research papers for free.