How can I get full text articles?

People regularly email to ask me where they can get the full text of papers highlighted in this blog.

Sometimes journals offer free full text access to particular articles or issues (usually time limited) – Sage Publications is particularly good at this and it’s worth signing up to their email list to get early warning.  Sometimes authors put up pre-print versions of articles in press. Where I’ve found a free full text I put details in the post.

If I haven’t linked to the full-text paper, you have four choices:

1. Look for it yourself.  I don’t have the time to do a thorough search for every article I mention, and sometimes articles are uploaded after I’ve done the search:

  • as well as your usual search engine, check Google Scholar.  Sometimes the results say “see all x versions” for a particular reference and a click on that might bag you the pdf
  • check the authors’ websites.  See if they’ve put a link to a pdf version on there.

2. If you are a member of an academic institution, your institution may have a subscription to the journal.  If you’re an APA member you can subscribe to their PsycARTICLES and PsycBOOKS databases and get access to all the APA journals.

3. Email the authors directly and ask.

4. Purchase the article through the publisher’s website (follow the link in my blog post).  Expect to pay between US$12 and US$25.

More generally, for full text references, I recommend Questia, an online library.  There’s a subscription fee to pay, but you get full-text access to more than 70,000 books and over 2 million articles.  I’ve been subscribing for several years now and have found it invaluable for checking references.  I’ve found it stronger on books than journals, but there are plenty of journal articles in there.  It starts at US$9.95 for a month’s access to the psychology collection, or there are quarterly and annual options that bring the price down.  Just be aware that they don’t usually have brand new articles or books on there (I think publishers make them wait a year or two).

A place to collate information of interest in a forensic psychological context