Doing Research? Avoid Paywalls!

By , September 18, 2012 8:08 am

Beware of the dreaded Paywall!  Interlibrary loan and proxy servers are your way around the wall.

As a student using the internet to research, you are likely to come across journal articles with titles and descriptions sounding precisely like what you need. Sometimes after clicking on the article’s title, however, a screen pops up requiring you to create a username and password in order to enter the website. Even worse, some sites won’t let you read the article until after you have paid a fee – as much as $50 (or more) for a single article!

If this ever happens, put on the brakes fast. You have come face-to-face with the economics of the journal publishing world: you just hit a paywall.

But did you know–UMKC students never need to pay for an article for their research.

First, start your research early. For free, you can order almost any article through interlibrary loan and usually receive it in just a few days.

Another tip is to start your search through the UMKC Libraries website. Doing this not only assures you are searching academically-oriented search engines like Google Scholar, but also means you automatically are using the UMKC proxy server.

A proxy server performs all the electronic handshakes between your search, the UMKC Libraries’ collections, and the journal publishers to keep you from encountering most paywalls. This can be done on campus or remotely, using your single-sign-on.

UMKC Libraries can help make sure that you are not paying unnecessarily for access to journal articles.

Let UMKC Libraries deal with the paywalls, so you can spend more time dealing with your projects!

If you have any questions, contact your subject liaison librarian for assistance.

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