How to obtain and share our field's journal articles
CSDisseminate's primary audience is scientists who publish in communication sciences and disorders. However, practicing SLPs and audiologists who regularly read and share research will also find huge value from what we do here. Read on to learn more.
What are my options for getting free, legal versions of journal articles?
Journal articles usually cost money to read, unless they were published open-access. But there's almost always a way to get a version for free, too, if you're needing to read it for clinical practice.
Step 1: Google the journal article title. If a scientist has posted a free legal version, you'll find it this way within the first several link hits.
Step 2: If not, The Informed SLP has an article on other options here. And if you end up having to email the author to request a copy, make sure to send them to csdisseminate.com, too, so that the next person to Google their work can find it via Step 1!
Are there automated tools that can help me find free, legal versions of articles?
Yes! OA.Works (formally Open Access Button) is a great tool for both researchers to identify how to share their work and for the public to find these versions. Check out their tools, especially the OAButton browser plugin, here.
Can I contact the authors directly to request an article?
Yes! Please do.
Don't hesitate to reach out to authors to discuss their work, ask questions about it, or request a copy of a paper! Our field's scientists love hearing from clinicians. It’s what they do for a living—advance knowledge in order to support clinical practice, and have discussions about it along the way!
Scientists' emails are usually on the journal article page, and when not you can find it by Googling their name plus work affiliation.
I have the PDF for a journal article that is otherwise behind a paywall (costs money to buy). Can I share it with other SLPs?
The short answer is not usually. But the longer (correct) answer is:
Clinicians have quite varied reasons for wanting to share a journal article, and you must consider the context of each each situation individually. Read more here.
Sometimes it's legal to privately share journal articles, especially in educational contexts. But it's rarely legal to share PDFs publicly (e.g. on a website, or in a large social media group).
So what's the solution? Having scientists host free legal versions that clinicians can share among each other. We teach them how to do that, here. Your role, as an SLP engaged in leadership and the dissemination of science, is to a) model how to legally share science, and b) send the scientists who don't know how to us!