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As you all know, journal subscriptions are extremely expensive, and many colleges and libraries don't subscribe to them. Many important articles aren't available on the preprint server arxiv. My question is, where can I find pirated copies of journals? Your help means so much to me.

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closed as off topic by David Z Mar 26 '11 at 16:22

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We can't support discussion of illegal activities on Stack Exchange sites. – David Z Mar 26 '11 at 16:24
Why does people up vote this question? – Heidar Mar 26 '11 at 16:56
There are some legitimate routes. IoP articles are free to download for the first month after publication. In the USA, public libraries can access APS journals, As noted in Answers, Authors are allowed by some journals to post a PDF of their published papers on their own web-page, and some do. In Princeton, the public library used to have a subscription to JSTOR (not much use for Physics) because there is a significant quasi-academic population there. A question along the same lines about legitimate open access might not be closed. – Peter Morgan Mar 26 '11 at 17:43
Yes arXiv is great. But there are countless articles that were written long before arXiv was around and that are inaccessible behind pay firewalls. Why? Because the publishers can keep squeezing the academic community for money knowing that we are all such squares! Good. Keep paying out the backside for work that was funded by taxpayer money in the first place. – user346 Mar 27 '11 at 2:45
ArXiv is great. Physics research paid for by taxpayers should be made available via arXiv. Pay walls are so 20th century... On the other hand, my experience is that a quick email to one of the authors gets you a PDF in your inbox within a day. – Johannes Mar 27 '11 at 18:57

I will tell you what I do if a paper whose title I know is behind a pay wall and I am away from a library. I take the title and put it in a search engine. If it is interesting enough somebody has put up a pdf version someplace.

Whole journals are a tall order and really not legal to copy them.

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I highly doubt anyone would go through the trouble of pirating journals, simply because most people who need the articles are affiliated to some university or the other that subscribes to the journals.

My advice is to use a library for the older articles that aren't on the arxiv and at the same time - make friends at universities who can email you articles once in a while!

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Most libraries will order articles for you for a small fee. You need to bear in mind that it takes money to sustain these journals and you're fundementally a naughty person expecting something for nothing.

How about getting a job so you can pay for the articles?

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That was unnecessary. – dbrane Mar 26 '11 at 16:21
@user2146 one would need to get a very comfortable job indeed to afford to pay $20-$40 per article that these publishers charge for articles which are more than two decades old. Perhaps you can be the first to setup a charity for poor scholars! – user346 Mar 27 '11 at 2:42
@Deepak i can go to my local library and pay just £2 per article. – Larry Harson Mar 27 '11 at 17:07
@user2146 you are a very fortunate person indeed if your local library holds articles by Witten, Zamolodchikov, Feynman and others which are currently behind pay firewalls on journal websites. Of course, if the tories have their way you'll soon have to walk a little farther not just for articles but any public services whatsoever. Its a terrible shame. – user346 Mar 27 '11 at 17:11