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  • Elsevier Connect

Free and low-cost access to scientific research

Elsevier’s initiatives make research available to researchers, patients, journalists and the public, by tom reller     posted on 3 december 2015.

Elsevier has a world of interesting and relevant content to offer: findings from Nobel Prize winners , headline-hitters and world-changing discoveries can all be found on our platforms. As a publishing company, it’s important for us to help as many people as possible read these articles and books. Most people access our content via their subscribed institutional accounts, but we also offer a wide variety of options for people without institutional access to read research papers through our free and low-cost programs .

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Have a look at the programs below to find out how you can access research at low or no cost. (More are sure to come, so we look forward to updating this summary soon. In the meantime, you can stay up-to-date with our accessing content page .)

  • Share Link : Authors who publish with Elsevier receive a link to their published article that provides 50 days’ free access, which they can share with their networks.
  • Postdoc Free Access Program . We provide free access to scientific content to support young scholars in between jobs or looking for their first postdoctoral position.
  • Featured articles and special issues : We regularly promote articles and issues to researchers through promotional campaigns that include free access for a limited period.
  • Open data : Authors can upload their raw research data as a supplementary file, which is then published open access – free of charge – next to their article on ScienceDirect.
  • New journals: when we launch a new journal, it is often made free access until it is established.
  • AudioSlides : Authors can create webcast-style presentations that allow them to present their research in their own words. These are published – free of charge – next to their articles on ScienceDirect.
  • Elsevier Connect : we make most research articles we cover freely available for at least 90 days, so readers can access the original research.
  • Journalists : We provide credentialed science journalists around the world — currently more than 1,500 — with unrestricted media access, helping them interpret and report on scientific findings for the public.
  • Nobel Prize Winners and topical issues : We share collections of articles on topical issues like hepatitis for World Hepatitis Day, and Nobel Prize winners’ work, with free access to the research. We’ll do this for sponsored programs as well, such as the Golden Goose Awards .
  • UK public libraries : Anyone can access ScienceDirect through walk-in user access at any participating public library in the UK via the Access to Research program.
  • Public access via university libraries – Our standard license gives libraries around the world the option to allow free walk in access.
  • Wikipedia editors : We provide free access to qualified Wikipedia editors, helping them improve the site’s content and accuracy.
  • Research4Life : As a founding partner, Elsevier contributes over a quarter of the nearly 50,000 free and low cost peer reviewed resources in Research4Life , encompassing ScienceDirect and Scopus , including over 3,100 Elsevier journals and 13,000 books. In 2014, there were over 3.9 m Research4Life article downloads from Elsevier’s ScienceDirect. We also provide extensive in-kind expertise and financial resources to advance usage, outreach and training and have commited to the program through 2020.
  • Library of Alexandria : Elsevier partners with the Library of Alexandria in Egypt to provide access to ScienceDirect and Scopus to individual researchers in the least developed and low-income countries.
  • International Centre Theoretical Physics (ICTP) eJournals Delivery Service : A free technical solution for scientists working in developing countries on physics, mathematics and computer science who cannot digitally connect to content.
  • TEEAL : We participate in The Essential Electronic Agriculture Library, a digital collection of research journals for agriculture and related sciences.
  • Outbreak Collections : We provide free access to articles that can help doctors and epidemiologists during an epidemic, for example research on Ebola , the Fukushima disaster and the Haiti earthquake. We also participate in the NIH/NLM Emergency Access Initiative to make our health and medical titles available during global health, disaster or emergency events.
  • PatientInform: We provide patients with low-cost access to medical research published in 100 healthcare journals along with patient-friendly summaries produced by the world’s most trusted health organizations.
  • Patient Access: Patients or their caregivers can register and receive research papers via email for a small handling fee.
  • CHORUS – We’ll open manuscripts for 4,000 research articles flowing from US Department of Energy research funding each year (with additional funding body partners to be announced).

That’s 20 programs, and more are forthcoming. We’re interested in making as much content available as we can without compromising the commercial model that underpins scientific publishing today. That model is responsible for innovations that enhance the quality of the articles, make it easier to find the research you need, and help make use of the articles and the data behind them. While we can’t make all content free, we’re proud of the programs described here that make as much research as possible available, especially to the people who need it most.

Elsevier Connect Contributor

Tom  Reller

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The customized link gives 50 days of free access to the author’s article on ScienceDirect after final publication visitor survey

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The 5 Best Platforms to Publish Your Academic Research

Academic research is a central component of scientific advancements and breakthrough innovations. However, your research journey is complex and ever-changing. You must take into consideration funding options, how to securely store your information, choosing where to publish your research, finding manuscript peer reviewers, and many more.

To keep up with the change, you and other researchers require modern, easy-to-navigate research platforms to help you uncover, store, verify, compile, and share content, data, and important insights to continue to carry out breakthrough research.

This article explains how to identify the best platforms for publishing your research and gives you a list of five platforms to help you publish. Towards the end, you’ll also see a mention of how Orvium can further assist you with publishing.

How to Identify the Best Platforms for Publishing

When trying to identify the best platforms for publishing your research, you have to consider several factors, including:

  • Does the platform support your research journey ? Can you collaborate with other authors and researchers, discover public groups and research papers and manuscripts (including Open Access work), view interactive graphs, images, tables, etc., track citations, and build a professional research profile?
  • Is the platform easy to use ? Does it offer rich functionalities that are easy to understand, and if so, which ones?
  • Does it use artificial intelligence and machine learning ? Automated actions (email alerts, etc.) can help you unlock breakthroughs faster and deliver deeper insights.
  • What security and governance does it have ? Platforms must be secure and compliant according to local regulations since researchers often deal with sensitive data.

The 5 Best Platforms to Publish Academic Research


ResearchGate is a platform hosting over 135 million publication pages with a community of 20 million scientists. The platform allows you to show off your work, access papers and advice from other researchers, make contacts and even find jobs. Some of its more prominent features include:

  • Dedicated Q&A section with searchable keywords to target experts in your particular field or area of study
  • Ability to create a personal profile page where you can display all research-specific details about yourself, including up to five pieces of work (including datasets and conference papers)
  • In-depth stats on who reads your work and the ability to track your citations
  • A private messaging service that allows you to send messages to other researchers
  • A comments section to provide feedback when viewing a paper
  • A “projects” section to tell others about your upcoming work.

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In addition, it's completely free to use!

Academia is a research-sharing platform with over 178 million users, 29 million papers uploaded, and 87 million visitors per month. Their goal is to accelerate research in all fields, ensure that all research is available for free and that the sharing of knowledge is available in multiple formats (videos, datasets, code, short-form content, etc.). Some of their more prominent features include:

  • Mentions and search alerts that notify you when another researcher cites, thanks, or acknowledges your work, and automatic reports of search queries
  • Ability to create a personal profile page
  • “Profile visitor” and “readers” features let you know the title and location of those who visit your profile or read your papers so you can learn about their research interests and get in touch
  • A “grants” feature to allow you to find new grants and fellowships in your field
  • Advanced research discovery tools allow you to see full texts and citations of millions of papers.

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The platform is based on a “freemium” business model, which provides free access to research for everyone, and paid capabilities to subscribers.


ScienceOpen is a discovery platform that empowers researchers to make an impact in their communities. The platform is committed to Open Science, combining decades of experience in traditional publishing, computing, and academic research to provide free access to knowledge to drive creativity, innovation, and development. Some of their more prominent features include:

  • You can publish your most recent paper as a preprint that’s citable and includes a DOI to share with peers immediately and enhance visibility
  • A multidimensional search feature for articles with 18 filters and the ability to sort results by Altmetric scores , citations, date, and rating
  • Ability to create a personal profile with minimal upkeep necessary
  • Access to a suite of metrics (usage, citations, etc.) of your publications
  • Ability to follow other researchers to stay up-to-date on their work and expand your network.

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The platform is free to use, although some features (like publishing your preprint) may cost money.

IOPscience is a platform that embraces innovative technologies to make it easier for researchers to discover and access technical, scientific, and medical content while managing their own research content. They participate in several programs that offer researchers in developing countries several ways to gain access to journals at little or no cost. Some of their other features include:

  • An enhanced search filtering feature allows you to find relevant research faster
  • A social bookmarking feature allows you to interact with other researchers and share articles
  • Ability to create a personal profile, customize your alerts, view recently published articles within your field or area of interest, and save relevant papers or articles
  • Ability to receive email alerts and RSS feeds once new content is published.

free research paper upload

IOPscience is free to use and functions on an Open Access policy, which you can check here .

Orvium is an open, community-based research platform that allows researchers, reviewers, and publishers to share, publish, review, and manage their research. Orvium protects your work with built-in blockchain integration to ensure that you maintain the copyright of your work and not only. Some of our more notable features include:

  • Access to a modern web platform with Google indexing, notifications, and mobile-ready features
  • Ability to manage your entire publication process, with control over when you submit, receive peer reviews, and publish your paper
  • “Collaboration” and “full traceability” features allow you to track your profile impact, get in touch with other researchers, and have ownership over your work
  • Recognition badges or economic rewards are given when you peer-review.

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Orvium is completely free to use.

Orvium Makes Choosing a Platform Easy

No matter what platform or community you choose to be a part of, you now know what you need to look for when choosing one. You also learned about five excellent platforms where you can publish your academic research. Orvium will remain your one-stop-shop platform for all your research needs. Do you want to know how Orvium and our communities work? Check out our platform or contact us with any questions you may have.

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free research paper upload

How can I publish a research paper in the journal for free?

There’s an opportunity to submit your article to a free-to-publish journal where authors are not charged for paper submission and processing . Find out how to make your article visible for thousand of readers free of charge in our article.

Many free-to-publish and open-access journals and subscription journals from major publishers are “Free to author” by default. Some journals require an article processing charge (APC) but also have a policy allowing them to waive fees on request at the discretion of the editor. The Directory of Open Access Journals currently indexes 11,841 journals that don’t charge APCs to the authors (out of 16,138).

The best scientific journals without APC comprise EAI EUDL open access initiative , EAI Endorsed Transactions , Elsevier journals , IEEE journals , Wiley , Taylor&Francis Online , and Sage Publishing .

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To be published in a free-to-publish journal will need your work to be worthy and respectable, meaning a lot of high-quality research work as well as patience to get accepted. It is highly advisable to check the journal’s credentials before opting to publish in it.

Publishers not taking a publication charge can make access to the published works limited. Others, in that case, can access only your abstract, having to pay for the full article access (the journal subscribers will get it for free). Those journals providing full access to the articles to all usually ask for the processing fee. 

NB: Reputed publishers always go for a peer-review process and only accept relevant quality that is level with their standards. The closer to the standard, the more likely the paper gets to not having to pay (or to pay less). 

Minimize the risk of rejection

After making a list of reputed peer-reviewed journals you could publish in, you will need to choose one and write/edit your paper according to its guidelines and author instructions. Always follow the submission guidelines properly and pimp your paper up at least up to the minimum standard expected – but more is more in this case.

free research paper upload

Your contributions should be unique and valuable to the journal and its editors, so try to bear that in mind while writing or editing. A lack of unique points of view could end up in rejection, making you miss the opportunity to be published at no cost. The usual time to wait to get published might range between 3-12 months – it all depends on the journal. In the meantime, wait for the feedback. 

Tip: Don’t take the feedback too harshly, if not the best. Learn from what you could have done better. Also remember – once you submit your paper to one journal, you can not submit the same to any other journal. After being rejected, you can improve your work and submit to a different journal an even better paper this time. 

Another way to be published could be co-authoring with more experienced researchers . It may help you become a better researcher as well as a better writer. 

If your or your co-author’s work is presented at a conference , those usually don’t charge the authors for the publication (but at least one of the authors has to be presenting at the conference, usually meaning a charge for the conference registration). 


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    Open data: Authors can upload their raw research data as a supplementary file, which is then published open access – free of charge – next to their article on ScienceDirect. New journals: when we launch a new journal, it is often made free access until it is established.

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  5. How can I publish a research paper in the journal for free?

    Many free-to-publish and open-access journals and subscription journals from major publishers are “Free to author” by default. Some journals require an article processing charge (APC) but also have a policy allowing them to waive fees on request at the discretion of the editor.