Alternative ways to get articles

- use Open Access

Here we present three free alternative ways to get access to scientific references.

PilOpen Access databases and archives
PilOpen Access tools (i.e., browser plug-ins)
PilContact the author - use your network - get a copy from the author directly

Open Access

More than one third of all scientific publications is found freely accessible on the internet today - as Open Access (see trends from the European Commission).

Databases and archives
At DTU Library we have gathered a collection of Open Access databases relevant to the research areas of DTU. Databases accessible in DTU Findit are marked with a *.

  • DTU Findit (
    DTU Findit is our online library catalog. Several Open Access databases are integrated in DTU Findit providing access to 33 million Open Access publications in the DTU research areas.
    Your search for Open Access publications should always start in DTU Findit.
  • ArXiv * (
    The oldest preprint archive (from 1991) with app.2 million preprints and post-prints. Relevant in physics, mathematics, computer science, electrical engineering, and related disciplines. You can find preprints from ArXiv in DTU Findit.
  • BASE * (
    Bielefeld Academic Search Engine index includes 113 million documents from app. 10.000 sources, and app. 60 % is Open Access.
    BASE is partly overlapping CORE.
  • bioRxiv (
    bioRxiv is a free online archive for unpublished preprints in biology. The archive is drifted by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
  • CORE * (
    CORE is a search engine harvesting and indexing more than 245 million articles.
    CORE is partly overlapping BASE.
  • DOAJ * (
    Directory of Open Access Journals registers more than 18.000 scientific peer reviewed Open Access journals and includes almost 8 million articles.
    You will find preprints and post-prints from DOAJ in DTU Findit.
  • Google Scholar (
    Google Scholar is a science focused search engine on the internet which indexes millions of academic publications - both pay and Open Access publications.
  • Semantic School (
    Search engine for science on the internet.
  • Open AIRE (
    A global network for Open Access repositories, covering more than 145 million publications, 18 million data sets, and more.
  • OSF Pre-prints (
    Is a preprint server giving access to more than 2 million preprints. OSF searches through range of preprint archives including ArXiv. It covers Engineering, Physical Sciences, Mathematics,  Medicine, and Health Sciences.
  • Science Open (
    Search platform with 36 million Open Access publications.
  • PubMed Central * (
    PubMed Central is an Open Access full text archive covering biomedical and life sciences on National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine.
    PubMed Central is searchable in DTU Findit.
  • Europe PMC (
    Europe PMC is an Open Science platform gathering pre-prints from different sources. Europe PMC and PubMed Central are partners.


Browser plug-in

Several browser plug-ins can help you tell if an article you would like is Open Access. Installing a free plug-in in your browser will give you access to the articles. Beware of the which plug-ins work in which browser.

Contact the author - use your network

Alternatively, you can try contacting the author/s directly since the author often has the right to share his/her articles with peers. Use your personal network or use established research networks which support sharing of articles between peers i.e., ResearchGate or

Get a copy for the author

  • ResearchGate (
    A social platform for researchers where they share their articles.
  • OA Button (
    A browser plug-in for Chrome and a search interface for Open Access content. If Open Access is not an option, they offer to contact the author and get the article sent to you directly.
  • Academia ( is a platform, where articles are shared.