That's where this guide comes in. Below you'll find tips and resources for both searching for and acquiring free copies of scientific papers to read. Academic Search Engines: Resources for Finding Science Paper Citations, when you start your background research, one of the early steps is finding and reading the scientific literature related to your science project (see the Roadmap. Note: If you do go to a university or college library to photocopy or print journal articles, make sure to bring plenty of change with you, because they won't have any!
There are a handful of free, publicly available academic search engines that can be accessed online; some of these are listed in Table 1, below. The remainder, like the ISI Web of Science, are subscription-based.
It turns out that just plugging search terms into a regular search engine, like Google, Yahoo, or MSN, isn't very effective. The pages you get back will be a wide mixture of websites, and very few will be links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.
The website lists journals by subject, as well as by title. Search directly for the homepage of the first or last author of the paper and see if he or she has a PDF of the paper on his or her website. So, if the first link isn't downloadable, try another. Go directly to the online homepage of the journal in which the paper was published. Some scientific journals are "open-source meaning that their content is always free online to the public. Read on for help finding the full paper. How to Get a Copy of a Scientific Paper. Once you've found the citation for a paper that is relevant to your advanced science project, the next step is actually getting a copy so that you can read it.