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Alternative Access to Elsevier Articles

Quick guide: Access to Elsevier articles

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Other Means of Access

Request articles via interlibrary loan (ILL).

Journal editors provide a valuable service to publishers. If you are an editor of an Elsevier journal, you may contact them to advocate for access to articles for your research purposes.


A very sincere thank you to the University of California Office of Scholarly Communication for their use of Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licensing to this content, allowing our reuse. Thank you to UCLA Library for their chart, similarly CC BY, detailing delivery speed for each alternative method of access.

A thank you, as well, to the Florida State University Libraries for the inspiration to include information recommending contacting the publisher directly for access.

Find an Open Access Copy

Some authors may have already posted their articles open access (OA), either in their journal, in a repository, on a personal webpage, or on an academic networking website. It is worth checking to see if the article you’re seeking is already online and free of charge by searching its title in Google or Google Scholar.

Open Access Search Tools

Open Access Repositories

There are a number of repositories into which authors have deposited (self-archived) copies of their articles. Most repositories are well-indexed, so merely searching for the article should surface an open access copy if one exists.

Note: The University Libraries do not endorse the use of SciHub.

Request it from the Author

Most publishers allow responsible sharing of your own publications. One way to get an article is to contact an author and ask for a PDF of a preprint. The author’s name and institution (if available) are usually shown on the preview page of the article. Some authors are open to receiving requests for articles via social networking sites where researchers share their work.

Note: University Libraries do not endorse the use of #icanhazpdf.

How long will it take to get access?

Method Delivery speed Access to final published version
ILL 2-4 days
NB: More difficult requests may take longer for Interlibrary Loan staff to acquire. 
Open repositories Immediate, if the article is available Maybe
Browser extensions Immediate, if the article is available Maybe
Contact the author Depends on author responsiveness Maybe