UC has announced that it will not be signing a new contract with Elsevier at this time.
Elsevier is expected to begin limiting UC’s access to new articles through its online platform, ScienceDirect, possibly very soon. This will mean some changes to how UC scholars access certain Elsevier journal articles.
If Elsevier were to reduce access to subscribed content, access to articles published from 2019 forward, as well as a limited amount of historical content, would no longer be available directly on Elsevier’s ScienceDirect platform. See:
Quick guide: Access to Elsevier articles
Enlarge this graphic: Alternative access to Elsevier articles
How to access Elsevier articles
Find an open access copy
Some authors may have already posted their articles open access (OA), either in the journal, in a repository, on a personal webpage, or on an academic networking website. It is worth checking to see if the article you’re seeking is already online and free of charge by searching its title in Google or Google Scholar.
There are several browser extensions or plug-ins you can install that will search compiled collections of open access articles, as well as search the internet for an open access version of a desired article.
- Open Access Button (OA Button): From the OA Button’s website, you can enter an article’s URL, DOI (a unique identifier), title, or other information to check for free and legal open access versions. Even better, the OA Button also offers Chrome and Firefox extensions. Once installed, these extensions will automatically search for an open access copy. When an open access copy is not found, the OA Button can contact the author directly.
- Unpaywall: You can either directly search Unpaywall’s database of millions of open access articles by entering the DOI for an article, or (more easily) install the Chrome/Firefox browser extension, which will point you to any open access versions of paywalled articles you come across online. Unpaywall is also integrated into UC e-Links.
There are a number of repositories into which authors have deposited (self-archived) copies of their articles. Most repositories are well-indexed, so merely searching for the article should surface an open access copy if one exists.
- Google Scholar
- PubMed Central
- UC’s eScholarship
- OSF Preprints (searches multiple preprint services)
Note: The UC Libraries do not endorse using Sci-Hub for article access.
Request it from the author
Most publishers allow responsible sharing of your own publications. One way to get an article is to contact an author and ask for a PDF of a reprint. The author’s name and institution (if available) are usually shown on the preview page of the article. Some authors are open to receiving requests for articles via social networking sites where researchers share their work, such as Academia.edu, ResearchGate, Mendeley, and HumanitiesCommons.
Alternatively, you can make a request to the author via Twitter using the hashtag #icanhazpdf with a link to the publication you need.
Get it from the library
If you can’t find an article, your campus library can get it for you.
You can use the request service to access interlibrary loan (ILL). Your campus’s ILL unit participates in a global resource sharing network whose mission is to support your research. All ten UC campuses have contracted with an article supply service (ReprintsDesk) to enable expedited (albeit expensive) article acquisition and delivery when the need for an article is urgent. ILL staff are available and happy to assist you. Visit your campus library’s web page to find ILL contact information.
Contact your librarian
If you are having trouble, librarians can help connect you with what you need.
Resources on your campus
- UC Berkeley: Alternative access, subject librarians
- UC Davis: Alternative access, subject librarians
- UC Irvine: Alternative access, subject librarians
- UCLA: Alternative access, subject librarians
- UC Merced: Alternative access, subject librarians
- UC Riverside: Alternative access, subject librarians
- UC San Diego: Alternative access, subject librarians
- UC San Francisco: Alternative access, subject librarians
- UC Santa Barbara: Alternative access, subject librarians
- UC Santa Cruz: Alternative access, subject librarians