Helpful Guide: How to Download Full Unrestricted Journal Articles for Free



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In the name of science and free access to scientific articles we need to use, I've got a list of two free tools to help you download the full and free versions of full scientific articles.

Method 1:
Unpaywall - Unpaywall is a free browser extension that will check to see if it can find a free article of the version you're currently reading. Simple as that. It will have a little green popup in the right hand corner you can click on if you come across this article.

Method 2:
Sci-Hub - Sci-Hub is a full free (and pirated) method to find journal articles you're looking for. Generally, just paste the full link of the journal article that's restricted. It will almost fine all articles 100% of the time if you just know how to paste in the URL properly. It generally works really well if you use a DOI (Digital object identifier) url. Here is an example of a DOI url Redirecting. Sci-Hub has to change URLs frequently because of the crackdown on the from the academic industrial complex.

Some of the Sci-Hub links aren't working, so you can visit a site that has mirrors of Sci-Hub URLs. It has a small popup on the front page, but if you hit ESC it will go away.

Method 3:
#ICanHazPDF - This is kind of the method of last resort and I've never had it work for me, but it's worth a shot. You can post the title of the article along with a URL along with the hashtag #ICanHazPDF and other researchers online will see if they can share it with you. It's worth a try if you can't find it anywhere else.

One last thing I wanted to recently post about is a really awesome website paywall killer browser extension called bypass-paywalls-chrome. Now, unfortunately, this extension requires a little bit of technical knowledge to install, but it's explain very well in the read me a file.

Here's an extensive list of all the sites they prevent you from getting the "Sorry, you're not subscribed" error message when trying to access a paywalled website.

Bypass the following sites' paywalls with this extension:Adweek
Algemeen Dagblad
American Banker
Baltimore Sun
Bloomberg Quint
Brisbane Times
Business Insider
Central Western Daily
Chemical & Engineering News
Chicago Tribune
Corriere Della Sera
Crain's Chicago Business
Daily Press
De Groene Amsterdammer
De Tijd
De Volkskrant
Denver Post
Dynamed Plus
Eindhovens Dagblad
El Pais
Encyclopedia Britannica
Financial News
Financial Times
First Things
Foreign Policy
Harper's Magazine
Hartford Courant
Harvard Business Review
Herald Sun
Het Financieel Dagblad
History Extra
Il Manifesto
Investors Chronicle
L.A. Business Journal
La Nación
La Repubblica
La Stampa
La Tercera
Le Devoir
Le Parisien
Les Échos
Loeb Classical Library
London Review of Books
Los Angeles Times
MIT Sloan Management Review
MIT Technology Review
Mexicon News Daily
Mountain View Voice
NRC Handelsblad
NT News
National Post
Neue Zürcher Zeitung
New York Magazine
New Zealand Herald
Nikkei Asian Review
Orange County Register
Orlando Sentinel
Palo Alto Online
San Diego Union Tribune
San Francisco Chronicle
Scientific American
Seeking Alpha
Tech in Asia
The Advertiser
The Advocate
The Age
The American Interest
The Athletic
The Athletic UK
The Atlantic
The Australian Financial Review
The Australian
The Business Journals
The Canberra Times
The Courier
The Courier Mail
The Daily Telegraph
The Diplomat
The Economist
The Globe and Mail
The Herald
The Hindu
The Irish Times
The Japan Times
The Kansas City Star
The Mercury News
The Mercury Tasmania
The Morning Call
The Nation
The New Statesman
The New York Times
The New Yorker
The News-Gazette
The Philadelphia Inquirer
The Saturday Paper
The Seattle Times
The Spectator Australia
The Spectator
The Sydney Morning Herald
The Telegraph
The Times
The Toronto Star
The Wall Street Journal
The Washington Post
The Wrap
Times Literary Supplement
Towards Data Science
Vanity Fair
Vrij Nederland
Winston-Salem Journal
World Politics Review
So, how do you get this extension installed. Well, first of all you need an unzip client (one comes with Windows), but you can also use my personal fav, WinRAR or 7Zip.

Second, you download the ByPass Firewalls Chrome ZIP file (apparently there is a version for Firefox as well). Since this version is for Chrome, it will work on browsers that use the Chrome engine like Microsoft Edge, Opera, and Brave. Then you unzip it into a folder or your choice and here are the further 3 instructions:

1. In Chrome go to the extensions page (chrome://extensions).
2. Enable Developer Mode.
3. Drag the bypass-paywalls-chrome-master folder anywhere on the page to import it (do not delete the folder afterwards).

And you're done. It works great on sites like the WSJ which are impossible to read without some kind of bypass.

So anyway, let me know if these have helped you in anyway!
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I've found a very new cool extension if you're looking for copies of old web pages that have vanished off the internet and you can't find them. It's very helpful if you know the direct URL of the site and knew it existed in the past but has just vanished completely. The Wayback Machine works for most things, but for forums and other miscellaneous links it isn't so great.

This is an extension called Web Archives and you can download the extension here:

Web Archives is a browser extension which helps you to find archived and cached versions of web pages. Searches can be initiated from the right-click context menu, the browser toolbar, or the address bar in case of a server error.

Supported search engines, archive and cache sources:

Wayback Machine
Google Cache
Bing Cache
Yandex Cache
Memento Time Travel
Exalead Cache
Gigablast Cache
Sogou Snapshot
Qihoo 360 Search Snapshot
Baidu Snapshot
Naver Cache
Yahoo Japan Cache


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I updated the link for Sci-Hub to it's new hosting location.


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I've come across a HUGE library with tons of free ebooks on every subject under the rainbow. There's books on AAS, science, fiction, non-fiction, and so so much more. You're limited to downloading 5 ebooks a day, but if you use Tunnelbear, you can use their free VPN service and hop servers and download all the books you want. You're limited to 500mg, but the books are pretty small, and if you post a tweet about Tunnelbear they'll give you a gig for free. You can also use Opera browser which has a free VPN built in

Here's the link:

Some of the books are in ePub format, so I use Sumatra reader for Windows, but they also have readers for Android/iOS. Here's some more epub readers if you don't like Sumatra.

Here are some links to epub readers for Mac (haven't verified any of these since I don't have a Mac):

If anyone else has a favorite epub reader, feel free to post it. I tried Amazon Kindle to read some of the books on the site, but I couldn't get them to load.

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