Research papers are something that tremendously enhances anyone’s resume and profile as an applicant. In fact, this can help you to get into your dream university for a Master’s or Ph.D. program.

However, choosing the best possible research topic for your thesis or dissertation in the shortest amount of time is quite tricky. But, you know what is more difficult? Well, downloading any research paper just for reference for free is more complicated.

However, if you do not know where to begin or are just stuck somewhere in the middle, here’s in this article that we have mentioned the complete process. Therefore, make sure to read this article till the end.

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What Are The Best Methods To Download Research Papers/Journals For Free?

There are a plethora of methods that you can use to download any research paper without investing a single penny. But, yeah! Remember one thing that it might be possible that these methods may not work for some protected papers. Anyway, let’s move towards the methods that we have for you: 

Method 1: Sci-Hub

I personally like this method as this is one of the easiest ways that you can use to download any research paper just by using the DOI of any paper. I had used this method previously when I was pursuing my graduation. Don’t worry! I will explain to you how you can use this site. So, let’s take a look at the steps: 

  1. First of all, search for the research paper that you want to download. In my case, I’ve searched for “use of rice husk ash in concrete”.download research paper for free
  2. After that, look for the top website or publication such as Elsevier, Science Direct, etc., and open it. 
  3. Then, locate and copy the DOI link as shown in the picture below:DOI link
  4. Now, simply open the Sci-Hub website. Then, paste the link there and hit the open button. Sci-Hub
  5. Then, a PDF version of the research paper will open; simply hit the download button. PDF version of the research paper

That’s it. Now, you will find that paper inside your PC’s download folder. So, that’s how you can download any paper using the DOI link. The DOI link is a unique identity provided by the publication to each article to make it easier for viewers to find it. 

Method 2: Library Genesis

Another website or we say directory that will help you to download your research papers for free. It has over 2 million articles, journals, papers, etc., in the database. So, let’s take a look at how you can use this website to get the paper:

  1. First of all, go to the Library Genesis official website
  2. Then, search for your paper topic and hit the enter key. Library Genesis
  3. Then, click on the paper that you need from the list of results and if there’s a download option available, simply download it directly. But, if there is no download button, then again copy the DOI link and follow the method that you use in the Sci-Hub. 

Method 3: Unpaywall

It has a much larger database for its users with over 21 million free scholarly articles that too from the 50,000 different publishers and content repositories. However, you can use it by two methods, i.e., directly from the website or using the Google Chrome extension. Well, in my opinion, you should use the extension instead of using the website to download research papers

  1. First of all, you need to download the Unpaywall Chrome extension. Then, follow the on-screen instruction to install it. Unpaywall to Download Research Papers
  2. That’s it. Now, whenever you try to access any article on the Unpaywall’s database, a green button appears on the screen, using which you can directly download it. 

Method 4: Get Permission From The Author

get permission from authorThe above three methods that we have mentioned in this guide will work only for the papers that are open for all. But, now what you can do if the author of that article protected it and not directly allowed to download or use it. Well, in that case, when you open that article, there is a request button or sometimes the author’s email address available.

So, you need to mail them that you like the concept that they have explained in their research. But, now you need that paper because you want to study it further to make things clear.

However, there is a 90 percent chance that the author of that article will agree and send you the PDF version of their paper via email. But, yeah! In some cases, they may ask you to pay for it. Therefore, then it’s upon you that whether that paper is really valuable for you or not.

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From Editor’s Desk

So, these were some methods that I’ve personally used while writing my research papers. Therefore, you can also use them. Also, in my opinion, the Sci-Hub website is one of the best, and it is highly recommended you use it as it’s an easy and fast process.

So, we hope that you find this guide helpful. However, if you know of any other method we can easily download review or research papers for free, let us know in the comment section. 


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