12 Top Websites to Download Research Papers for Free

How to download research papers for FREE? Are you looking for ways to get access to academic articles without paying? If so, you’re in the right place. In this post I’ll explain ways to obtain a research paper at absolutely no cost.

Research papers can be downloaded as an effective method to cut down on the time as well as money. The issue is that it requires a lot of work to find reliable sources. There are a few websites where you are able to download research papers for no cost.


There is no need to spend anything to gain access to these documents. All you have to do is sign-up on the website and begin downloading.

The most appealing aspect of these websites is that they provide you with the ability to access hundreds of research papers across different areas. If you’re looking to learn about any subject then just go to one of these websites.


1. Sci-Hub

It was created in 2011 with the help of Kazakhstani master’s student Alexandra Elbakyan, Sci-Hub is an online platform that gives access to academic articles and papers through access to educational institutions as well as its own archive of articles and papers downloaded.

download research paper for free

To claim Sci-Hub is a controversial website is an understatement. Sci-Hub is accused of copyright infringement numerous occasions, and is currently blocked by a number of web service companies, particularly in countries with high-tech. According to the Sci-Hub’s own data it’s a 99% chance that the request to download will be successful and more than 200k requests are processed each day.


How to use Sci-Hub

  1. Visit
  2. Enter the full name of the DOI, URL, or URL in the paper that you would like to download.
  3. Select”Open” or click the “Open” click.

2. Library Genesis

Library Genesis is a massive database that contains more than 2.7 million titles and over 58 millions science magazines files. The website was threatened with legal action by Elsevier one of the largest publishing companies of technical, scientific medical and scientific research papers in the year 2015. However, there’s been no resolution to it to date. In the present, Library Genesis is blocked by a variety of Internet service providers within the United Kingdom, but the website is still accessible due in part to the presence of a huge variety of Library Genesis mirrors.


Library Genesis link:

how to download research papers for free

How to use Library Genesis

  1. Visit: (which is the official URL for the website at the moment).
  2. Input your keywords in the search box.
  3. Select on the “Search!” button.
  4. Click on the title of the book or research paper that you’re searching for.
  5. Click on one of the mirrors available.
  6. Save the paper or book onto your device.

3. Unpaywall

21 million academic papers taken from more than 50,000 repository of content as well as publishers.

This is a huge database that contains more than 21 million academic works from over fifty thousand content repositories as well as publishers. The content in the database is replicated from government resources so downloading them is legal.


The authors claim they are able to access around 80-85 percent of all scientific papers accessible on their website. They are also aided by funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation as well as the National Science Foundation.

research papers download for free

You can utilize Google’s Chrome extension to quickly get them at any time. In order to do this, you have to follow the instructions listed below:

  1. Visit
  2. Select on the “Add the Chrome” button. Chrome” option.
  3. Simply click “Add the store to Chrome” in the Chrome Web Store page in addition.
  4. Keep an eye on the extension until it is installed.
  5. After installing the extension, it will work automatically and will appear whenever you go to the site of a paywalled research paper in the database of Unpaywall’s open databases. All you have just click on the green Unpaywall button to allow the article to be displayed immediately.

In contrast to other websites mentioned here Unpaywall’s services Unpaywall are legal as it identifies legal, author-posted , manuscripts that are hosted on university and government web servers (generally called Green Open Access manuscripts).

In actual fact, Unpaywall is integrated into various search engines, library systems and other information products across the globe. It has made the scholarship process more accessible to students across the world.

4. Directory of Open Access Journals

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is a website run by the community, which lists the highest quality, peer-reviewed and peer-reviewed accessible journals. The website was created in 2003 with about 300 journals. It has since expanded to include more than 10,000 free access journal in the entire spectrum of technology, science and medicine, as well as social science and humanities.

DOAJ is managed via Infrastructure Services for Open Access (IS4OA) IS4OA, an unincorporated charitable foundation which’s mission is to bring an advantage to the world user community that relies on openly available research data and publications. IS4OA believes that a wide and free distribution and diffusion of knowledge can benefit society in general.

where can i download research papers for free

Similar to Unpaywall, DOAJ is completely legal and is funded by sponsors as well as non-publisher and publisher members.

It can be used to search for and download research papers for free:

  1. Visit:
  2. Input your keywords in the search field , then hit enter.
  3. Choose the research paper you wish to download.
  4. Hit on the “Full Text” button that is located just below the abstract.

5. Open Access Button

Public archives of research papers in order to let research funded by public funds free to all.

Open Access Button was founded in the month of November 2013 by a group of students tired of having to go through paywalls. It makes use of public repositories of research papers to make publically funded research accessible to all.

Open Access Button is quite similar to Unpaywall , in the way it operates. However both differ on one major point when Open Access Button notices that an article isn’t accessible, it immediately informs authors to share the article by putting it in an archive. The more people attempt to discover an article through this platform the more requests the author receives.

sites to download research papers for free

You can make use of Open Access Button by downloading their browser extension. To do that, follow the instructions below:

  1. Visit the following URL:
  2. Download your Open Access Button browser extension by clicking the “Add to Chrome” button.
  3. In the future, if ever in a position to not access the information you need simply click the Open Access Button to do it.

Don’t fret if you’re not an Google Chrome user. You can still use the online version of Open Access Button by visiting the following link:

6. ScienceOpen

ScienceOpen offers a professional network platform for academics that gives access to more than 40 million research papers from all fields of science. ScienceOpen was established at the end of 2013 by Alexander Grossmann, a physicist and professor of publishing management at the Leipzig University of Applied Sciences, Leipzig, Germany, and Tibor Tscheke who is expert in information science, software development and specialist in content management. The goal for Science Open is to explore ways to make it easier to access information to the scientific community. we can safely say that the initiative has succeeded admirably in achieving its goals.

how to download research papers for free

To search for research papers with the help of Science open:

  • Go to:
  • Select on the “green “Search” button located in the upper right corner.
  • Enter your search terms into the search box. In addition to the keywords, you can look up authors’ collections, journals publishers, as well as others.


CORE is an aggregater of research that is open access and published in journals and research repositories across the globe. Its primary objective is to protect the rights of the public and citizens to public to gain access to the findings of their research, to which they’ve contributed by paying taxes. It accomplishes this by providing an easy accessibility to millions of research papers with open access.

how can i download research papers for free

To find a research article using CORE:

  • Visit:
  • Enter your search terms into the search box.
  • Hit the “Search” link.
  • Select on the “Get PDF” button to download any research document you are looking for.

8. seeks to create a platform that makes research accessible and accessible by offering direct download links to more than 200 million papers from research.

Its main goal is to make everyone more efficient in every phase of their academic endeavors starting with research and ending with the creation of bibliographies. By aggregating and combining the various Open Access databases, they can direct you to the most recent open access research , as well as the studies behind paywalls. If there’s no direct download link, they’ll assist you to locate a method to access it.

free research paper download

Research papers can be found by using by following these steps:

  1. Follow the link below:
  2. You can enter your keywords or DOI number into the search field that is available there.
  3. Select on the “search” button, and wait for results to show up.
  4. In the search results Download any research document you require by clicking this link for download.

9. Citationsy Archives

Citationsy Archives allows you to look up journals and papers to download, download them, and (obviously) incorporate them into your work.

Citationsy is a no-cost to use software, however it has some restrictions to the plan that is free. For $9.99 monthly ($4.99 when you’re in school) and you will get unlimitted citations, reference Word export, bibliographies and much more. Citationsy Archives offers only 3-days trial. However, if you make use of the promo code GAURAVTIWARI you will be able to get a premium versions at no cost for the entire month.

free journal paper download

It is important to note that you can access Citationsy Archives with or without an account.

All you have to do is make a request, and it will then search for the exact phrase in all research papers around the world and show the pertinent matches to you. Click on each of them to view more information, and then access it directly from the search results.

The platform also allows you to download the papers using a number of different and totally open access and legal options.

Use Citationsy Archives from

10. PaperPanda

It’s a free extensions for your browser Chrome that gives you the ability to access various journals and documents in PDF format.

When you turn on the tool it locates the DOI of the article on the page you are viewing and proceeds to look for it. It starts by searching different Open Access repositories like OaDoi, SemanticScholar, ArXiV, and the Internet Archive.

The developers are currently working on a feature to be released soon that lets you define the university library’s domain within the setting. PaperPanda will then look for the paper you require within your library. If required, you’ll be able to create an alternative domain within the settings.

where can i download research papers for free

I’ve included the instructions for using this tool.

  1. Installation of the PaperPanda extension to Google Chrome.
  2. Pin PaperPanda to the toolbar of your browser.
  3. When you are on a website for a research paper click the tiny panda symbol within the toolbar.
  4. PaperPanda will locate your PDF files. If you need to, access “settings” and change the domain that it employs to search for your files.

11. Education Resources Information Center (ERIC)

It includes not just journal articles as well as book and grey literature too.

ERIC is element of the United States Department of Education. It is a vast archive of books and is widely recognized as the best way to download research papers for free without paying an amount. It is not just a repository of journals but also book sources and grey literature too.

free research paper

The journal as well as non-journal materials available at ERIC is reviewed by peer reviewers and are reliable. The site adds new research sources to its index database system two times each year.

You can get access to ERIC through the official website of ERIC:

12. Other Website


It’s a fact that publishing research is a costly field both for readers and researchers. Most scientific research studies are behind paywalls in the event that the researcher does not cost of publication for open access publications. The cost for downloading research papers is approximately $40, which is not something everyone would be financially able to pay for. That’s why the sites listed in this article were created to assist you with.

However, prior to using one of these sites for research papers to download for free, remember that removing paywalls that are erected by paywalls is unlawful in many areas of the world. So, it is recommended making use of a VPN to secure your identity. This extends your private network over an open network. It also allows users to transmit and receive data in a private manner and safely.

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