How to Find Scholarly Articles for Free (7 Sources Revealed)

June 6, 2024

how to find scholarly articles for free

 Research is the first step to writing any type of paper. Whether you have an Extended Essay due next week or you just received a research paper assignment, you’ll have to go deep into research to find the right information to use in your academic writing. So how exactly do you find the best scholarly source online?

You can find scholarly articles from online journal databases such as Public Library of Science, Open DOAR, CIA World Fact Book, Pub Med, and Zenodo. These examples require no subscription fees, which means they’re the best for students who are looking for free information online.

Then there are those to which you have to pay subscription fee to access, which can be a little more than inconveniencing. In fact, paywalls and subscription fees are a true inconvenience to students who don’t have sufficient funds to pay for information online, making such directories and repository quite insignificant to students to say the least.

In this post, we’ll state and explain a list of sources from which you can get high quality, professional scholarly articles without paying any money. So if you’re looking for options where you can access information any time you need for your academic writing, this guide is for you.

Where to Find Scholarly Articles for Free 

You don’t have to go through the frustrations posed by subscription-based online databases to find resources for your research paper and essay assignments. Below are 10+ credible sources to find scholarly articles without paying a cent.

1. Science Open      

open science

Science Open is a wide repository to use for research if you’re working on a school assignment in the area of Science. With Science Open, you get access to over 70 million publication put together by 28million authors. In short, you get access to information that will add value to your research assignment and make your work more engaging.

You’ll have to register an account to access the full text of an article. Even with that being the case with this search engine, registration is free and only takes about 3 minutes to complete. 

Science Open features an advanced search function is detailed enough to allow you to find the right scientific publications and journals for your research. 

2. CORE 


CORE gives you free access to 100+ million articles across different disciplines. Hundreds of thousands of the links to the articles will open on the publishers’ sites, which you can’t find by doing a Google search. Also, CORE hosts around 5 million records, making this search engine a gigantic source of information for your last minute essay and research papers.

The engine offers a simple keyword search function and an advanced search filter. To use the simple search, enter a keyword in the search box and click the search button. The advanced option allows you to filter results by author, language, language, journal, publication, and repository.

3. Directory of Open Access Journals  


If you’re looking for a community-driven source of multidisciplinary scholarly journals and articles, consider the Directory of Open Access Journals.

Launched in 2003 with the aim of giving researchers free access to quality information, the Directory of Open Access Journal allows you to get more than 9,000 journals, which has more than 2 million of high quality scholarly articles.

The developers have built the platform in such a way that you can browse the journals by keywords or by subject, making it easy to find the category of information that you’re looking for.

The best thing about this website is it includes content across different categories. It doesn’t matter if you’re studying law, arts, history, or any other vertical. The site will give you access to ample information for your research project. 

4. Your School’s Online Library 

online library

Your college or university has an online library where you can find many scholarly articles without paying money. Given that college and universities have improved their digital libraries to keep up with the current search technology, it should be easy to find the information you’re looking for online.

An online library saves you the time you would otherwise spend going to a local library to find resourceful information for your essay and research paper. Since you get access to eBooks and journals across different categories with the click of a button, you get to spend more time reading, working on your assignments, and revising for your tests before the due dates.

Online libraries feature advanced search features, which allow you to filter information based on subjects, titles, the year of publication, author, and more. Given the advancement, you spend less time looking up for information online and more of your time on reading.

5. Use Your School’s Physical Library 

local library

Universities and colleges set up local libraries for a reason. First, it’s a resourceful setup for students who don’t own laptops. Second, you can get information on some subject much quicker than you would if you looked up for the information online.

Something outstanding about on-campus libraries is that librarians organize books into subjects and categories, which makes it easy for students to find scholarly information for free. Moreover, the librarians are employed to attend to you whenever you need help. So feel free to ask the any equation if you feel stuck.

6. Open DOAR 

Open DOAR is one of the best places to find scholarly sources without paying a cent. The system uses Google’s custom search technology to find open repositories around the globe and then return relevant results based on your keyword or phrases.

Open DOAR goes a step further to assess and categorize the information returned by the search to make sure you get access to the highest quality information.  

7. Social Science Research Network 


The Social Science Research Network is another good source of scholarly articles on science. It currently 600,000+ full-text papers and 700,000+ abstracts, which you can access for free.

You need to become a member to use SSRN. Registration is free for a lifetime. Not to mention that SSRN even gives you the opportunity to interact with other scholars.

About the author 

Antony W is a professional writer and coach at Help for Assessment. He spends countless hours every day researching and writing great content filled with expert advice on how to write engaging essays, research papers, and assignments.

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