People with access to University databases usually have "free" access to all journal articles, because their University pays for it.
But the average SLP? Not so much!
Below, we'll explain how to find free versions of journal articles.
First, note that the primary way to obtain a journal article is to go to the publisher’s website and simply pay for it. Publishers own the journal articles. So when you search an article's title, the journal's website is almost always the first thing to pop up. Just like anything else you’d need for therapy—books, toys, treatment materials—scholarly articles do have an associated cost. (Not a fan of that cost? You're not alone.)
What do they usually cost? To purchase a single article is usually between $12 and $60. Some journals also allow you to rent the article for 48 hours for much cheaper (usually around $6).
(Now, back up: Recall that if you need to FIND an article in the first place, you need to search a comprehensive databases like PubMed. But once you have the title of the article you want, here's how to proceed...)
Here are some ways people get journal articles for free:
So clearly there are many options. And the method for accessing research articles for the general public is far from ideal. For now, we simply encourage you to be part of the conversation on what SLPs need in order to provide evidence-based practice. What can you do? Start by making sure your science colleagues know how to legally self-archive (that is, share their research online for free). Any time scientists do that, we'll be able to link out to their lab pages from The Informed SLP!