3 ways to access free research papers online

Neon open sign

With the open access movement, there are increasing amounts of open access research articles available to you.

But it can be a challenge to find a free version of a specific article in the sea of institutional and subject repositories. We’ve rounded up three tools to help you out.

The first two are browser extensions that work with Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. It’s as easy as downloading a plug-in and clicking a button to track down a free article. The third tool is DOI resolver service that you can search by DOI.

Open Access Button
By: Open Access Button
Availability: Chrome Web Store and Mozilla Add-ons
Cost: Free
Get the articles and data you need with the Open Access Button. The Button searches thousands of sources to get you instant, legal access to articles. If the article or dataset you need is not available, you can create a request for the research.

By: Impactstory
Availability: Chrome Web Store and Mozilla Add-ons
Cost: Free
Get free, legal fulltext of research papers as you browse. When you view a paywalled research article, Unpaywall automatically looks for a copy in our index of over 10 million free, legal fulltext PDFs. If we find one, click the green tab to read the article.

By: Impactstory
Availability: https://oadoi.org/
Cost: Free
Search this DOI resolver service to find a free version of the article. Simply, type or paste a DOI into the search box. If there’s an open access version of the article, oaDOI will send you there, instead of the paywalled article landing page.

What do students think about the upgrade to Windows 10?

Photo of students in computer lab

Around 3,300 computers in common use labs, school-based computer labs, library spaces, seminar rooms and lecture theatres were upgraded to Windows 10 recently.

During the upgrade, Information Services also took the opportunity to virtualise over 280 applications used by Griffith students. The upgrade provides students with a modern, up to date environment that is significantly faster, compatible with newer computers, devices, drivers and applications, and addresses known security and performance issues.

When our students returned from summer vacation, we took the time to ask them what they thought about the changes to student computers. Their response was overwhelmingly positive.

One student was impressed that Griffith is keeping up to date with recent technology. They said, ‘it shows that the university is willing to invest to keep their resources relevant and provide the best experience possible to their students’.

There were also many appreciative comments about the speed of the computers since the upgrade. ‘It’s fast, cooperative and easy to use’ said a student. ‘These innovations have made my studying and research time faster and easier.’

And it has reduced the time students have to spend waiting for programs to start. Applications are now ‘available to use directly after start up rather than having to wait for them to load up on the desktop’ another student said.

Windows 10 is touted as being the ‘the last version of Windows’, and will be regularly improved though frequent smaller updates, rather than the traditional method of requiring upgrades to new versions of windows every few years.

BCCVL: a biodiversity and climate impact research tool

Have you ever wondered how the habitat of a Green Tree Frog is likely to change under various climate change scenarios? Or if frogs aren’t your thing, how about the habitat of a Little Pygmy Possum?

Regardless of the species, you can run an experiment in the Biodiversity and Climate Change Virtual Laboratory (BCCVL) to find areas where the environment is suitable for a species to survive.

You can then use your result in a Climate Change Projection to see how the suitable habitat of that species is likely to change 100 years from now under various climate change scenarios.

And there is so much more that the BCCVL can do. The Species Distribution Modelling Experiment (SDM) is one of six experiments currently available in the online research tool.

Developed by the eResearch team in Information Services alongside a consortium of other institutions and universities across Australia, the BCCVL is a ‘one stop modelling shop’ that simplifies the process of biodiversity and climate impact modelling.

Led by notable biodiversity and climate change researchers and information technology specialists, the BCCVL makes biodiversity and climate impact modelling more accessible to a wider range of users and fulfills the need for multi-model approaches to biodiversity analysis.

The BCCVL offers access to a large variety of datasets. You can import species occurrence data from the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) as well as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF).

There are approximately 4000 current and future climate data layers over a range of climate change scenarios and global climate models. It also has more than 300 environmental datasets including layers on soil classifications and vegetation indices.

According to University of New South Wales, Professor Shawn Laffan, ‘The BCCVL takes out nearly all the technical drudgery users are commonly faced with when running species distribution models.

‘With its easy to use interface, accessible from anywhere, it opens the field to a whole new array of researchers who understand the systems they are working on, but do not have the technical skill-sets or hardware to properly answer their questions’ said Professor Laffan.

The BCCVL is a multi-award winning research tool taking out the 2015 QLD iAwards for Research and Development and the 2016 QLD Asia-Pacific Spatial Excellence Awards for Technical Excellence. It has also been nominated for the National Awards to be held on 5 April 2017.

What is the Open API Project?

Business Analyst, Michael McGuinness visited TAHO earlier this year.

Archives across Australia hold data and metadata that is useful to other archival institutions. When archives identify related data, documents and records in an external repository, they typically collaborate with the other archive to further enhance their own collection.

So how do archival institutions share their information? Well, up until now they did it via email, FTP, web-based file sharing services, and in some instances, posting external hard drives. Researchers engage with archives in a similar manner. Most of the interaction is manual and quite often requires a researcher to physically visit the archive.

While these file sharing solutions have achieved the desired outcome between the parties, they can be inefficient, cumbersome and don’t promote broader sharing of data and information. That’s why Information Services is working on a project to share records across multiple institutional repositories.

Alongside stakeholders, such as National Library of Australia (NLA), National Australian Archives (NAA), Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office (TAHO) and Queensland State Archives (QSA), Information Services is working on the Open API Project through a program of work managed by eResearch South Australia (eRSA).

The pilot project aims to operationalise a national, sustainable and scalable API standard that will allow data (and metadata) sharing and transfer between the Prosecution Project and the Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office (TAHO).

TAHO is a part of LINC Tasmania. They collect, manage and preserve Tasmania’s cultural and documentary heritage, including State Government records.

Based at Griffith University, the Prosecution Project is investigating the history of the criminal trial in Australia. Directed by Laureate Fellow and Professor of History, Mark Finnane, the project has developed an online repository of Australian criminal trial records from 1850-1960. The collection includes data drawn from original court registers, court calendars, trial briefs and police gazettes.

Basically, the goal of the Open API Project is to make data from the Prosecution Project available in TAHO, and vice versa. The API will facilitate the transfer of data through two Metadata Endpoints.

Information Services, Business Analyst, Michael McGuinness visited TAHO earlier this year to understand how they produced their digital content.

In February 2017, the Open API Project team (from Griffith and eRSA) planned, conducted and led a solution design workshop with representatives from the research community, QSA, TAHO, NAA and NLA to determine the standards that could be used for the project.

The draft design of an Open API Standard will be released in May 2017.

A healthy dose of new nursing resources

Photo of laptop and fruit on a desk

Exciting news! We’ve upgraded the Nursing and Health Professional Premier Collection.

Published by Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins (LWW), this collection gives you access to the top nursing journals used by nurses, nursing students, and health professionals around the world.

We’ve added 31 new titles to the collection this year. Here’s a selection of what’s available:

ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal
This journal covers all aspects of exercise science and nutrition research, with components of ACSM certification workshops, current topics of interest to the fitness industry, and continuing education credit opportunities.

Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal
A peer-reviewed journal designed to meet the needs of advanced practice clinicians, clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, health care professionals, and clinical and academic educators in emergency nursing. Articles contain evidence-based material that can be applied to daily practice.

Advances in Neonatal Care
Affiliated with the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN), this journal addresses the practice challenges faced every day caring for the 40,000-plus low-birth-weight infants each year. It promotes evidence-based care and improved outcomes for the tiniest patients and their families.

Advances in Nursing Science
This journal encourages works that speak to the need for global sustainability and that take an intersectional approach, recognizing class, color, sexual and gender identity, and other dimensions of human experience related to health. Articles in ANS are peer-reviewed and chosen for their pioneering perspectives and for their significance in contributing the evolution of the discipline of nursing.

Advances in Skin & Wound Care
This peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary journal is highly regarded for its unique balance of cutting-edge original research and practical clinical management articles on wounds and other problems of skin integrity.

What can you do in April to become a better researcher?


You can attend our series of Higher Degree Research (HDR) Workshops. They are targeted to support you through all stages of the research lifecycle.

All staff and students are welcome to attend these workshops but preference will be given to HDR candidates. Once you have registered you will receive an email confirmation, please select add to calendar.

Week 6 (3 April – 7 April)

Date Time Workshop Location Campus
Tues 4/4 1:00pm Editing your writing G10 2.25 Gold Coast
Wed 5/4 9:30am EndNote N53 1.49 Nathan
Wed 5/4 10:00am EndNote G10 2.09 Gold Coast


Week 7 (17 April – 21 April)

Date Time Workshop Location Campus
Thu 20/4 10:00am EndNote S02 3.13 South Bank
Fri 21/4 10:00am Strategic publishing N53 1.49 Nathan


Week 8 (24 April – 28 April)

Date Time Workshop Location Campus
Wed 26/4 10:00am Copyright, plagiarism and publishing integrity S07 2.18 South Bank
Thu 27/4 1:00pm EndNote N53 1.50 Nathan
Fri 28/4 10:00am Improving writing quality before submission N53 1.51 Nathan

The songs of James Bond

What’s your favourite James Bond film theme song? Madonna’s Die Another Day? Tina Turner’s Goldeneye? Or maybe A View to a Kill by Duran Duran?

We are quite partial to Adele’s opening number in the 2012 film Skyfall. And as it turns out, we have great taste in music. Rolling Stone magazine ranked James Bond film theme songs from best to worst and crowned Shirley Bassey’s Goldfinger (1964) as the winner; Adele came in at number four.

How did your favourite fare? Apologies to all of you who enjoy Lulu’s The Man with the Golden Gun. It is the worst of its genre, according to the 2015 Rolling Stone magazine article.

The iconic music magazine isn’t the only publication that has examined the songs of 007. We came across a particularly interesting title in the Oxford Scholarship Online (OSO) music collection.

Written by Adrian Daub and Charles Kronengold, The James Bond Songs: Pop Anthems of Late Capitalism (2015) illustrates how our conception of what a pop song is has changed over time.

The authors ‘argue that the story of the Bond song is the story of the pop song more generally, and perhaps even the story of its end. Each chapter discusses a particular segment of the Bond canon and contextualizes it in its era’s music and culture’ (Amazon).

You can access the full text of The James Bond Songs: Pop Anthems of Late Capitalism online in OSO. The OSO music collection contains titles from Oxford University Press and covers significant titles in musicology and music history, ethnomusicology, and music theory. The collection now includes over 160 new titles.