The primary way to obtain a journal article is to go to the publisher’s website and simply pay for it. This isn't what you had to do in grad school, but it's the way it works once you no longer have access to a university subscription. When you search an article's title, the journal's website is almost always the first thing that pops up. To purchase a single article from a journal reviewed by TISLP, it’ll cost you between $12 and $55. Some journals also allow you to rent the article for 48 hours for much cheaper (usually around $6). Just like anything else you’d need for therapy—books, toys, treatment materials—scholarly articles have an associated cost. (Not a fan of that cost? You're not alone.)
(Now, back up: recall that if you need to FIND an article in the first place, free databases include PubMed, for medical research, and ERIC, for educational research. But once you have the title of the article you want, here's how to proceed...)
So, if you're a member of the American Speech–Language–Hearing Association (ASHA), you get access to their journals for free. If you’re additionally a member of at least one ASHA Special Interest Group (ASHA SIG), you get the Perspectives publications for free too. There are many reasons to belong to ASHA, but journal access is certainly an important one. (NOTE: Similar perks exist for U.K., Canadian, and Australian professionals; check with your national organization.)
But—back to the journals we DON'T get for free (which is most of them). Do people really have to pay in order to be able to read research? Well, yes. However, not everybody has to pay (because of where they work) and not everybody does pay (because they find a backdoor way to gain access). Here are some ways people get journal articles for free:
So clearly there are many options. And, clearly, 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 academic publishing. Be part of the conversation on what SLPs need in order to be able to provide evidence-based practice.
***One more thing— the articles TISLP shows you are always brand new, ahead of print. These new articles tend to be expensive when first published, then become free later on (e.g. the publication embargo ends, they become open access, or end up available on a website). So if you're wanting an article but can wait, you can always just add it to your "To Read" list and try to find it again later. In general, the longer you wait, the more likely you are to find an article for free online.