I don't have any institutes' login credentials or free account. But some of the answers to my questions contain links to references. I can't access them. Is there any other way to do so? I do not mean the use of illegally accessing the journals or articles. But my question is that unless I have account credentials from an educational institute am I unable to view the content freely?
I don't consider this a duplicate. I also think that this is a highly pertinent question for many users of the site, especially in light of the frequency with which answers here refer to the primary literature (which I consider to be a very good thing).
First and foremost, it should be said that no answer should require somebody to read an article to fully understand the answer. Any crucial information from the article should be paraphrased (or quoted, ideally within reasonable limits) and inserted in the text of the answer itself.
Sometimes, it suffices to read the abstract or the first page of an article to get a gist of what the article is about.
However, if access to the full article is desired, the first port of call should be the person who has cited the article. They should usually be able to
help you with getting a PDF, or by summarising any pertinent information in the article. Edit: Don't you dare ask for a PDF here, or you will be turned away in no uncertain terms.
The next thing to look for is a free copy lurking on the Internet somewhere. Some authors upload copies of their own articles on their group websites. For example, all of David Macmillan's papers can be accessed via http://chemlabs.princeton.edu/macmillan/publications/.
Finally, one thing should be clarified, because the topic has come up in the past, not just in meta but also in chat. There are illicit ways of obtaining papers, which I will not link to here; the moderators cannot police the private usage of such channels. However, please do not promote them on Stack Exchange (e.g. by posting links to such websites), as they will be removed. See also: https://chemistry.meta.stackexchange.com/a/4297/16683
If you don't have credentials and they are required, officially you cannot get the full text from the publisher. Of course, there are numerous alternative methods, but those are an off-topic on Chemistry.SE. Semi-officially you can:
- Try to search the internet for the PDF file. Sometimes it's stored publicly on an FTP server, uploaded by an authors to their blog, or just mirrored by another publisher.
- Contact author(s) directly via email and ask them to send you a copy.
- Ask a friend who is affiliated with a university to get the paper for you.
- Ask on internet. There are forums and subreddit devoted to papers exchange (questionable ethics included).
- Somehow acquire access to the network of a university which has a subscription. Some universities post login-password pairs for its VPN for graduate students or guests.