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  1. Dean Pomerleau

    Getting Full PDFs of Papers

    Between Greg and I, it seems like a day of helpful meta-tips - i.e. practical tips not related to diet or health. Here is a meta-tip I recently discovered. For anyone serious about researching diet, health, or any other scientific topic, it can be frustrating trying to get the full text of a published paper that is behind a paywall, unless you are affiliated with a university or other research institution. I've been relying on Al Pater to serve as a conduit to full-text of articles I want to read but which aren't freely available. But I feel bad imposing on Al, and he's not always available. I recently discovered two amazingly effective alternatives. The first uses Twitter to find a kindly soul with access to Journals (i.e. the equivalent of Al Pater). The steps are as follows, taken from the wikipedia page on the method: Request an article by tweeting an article's title, DOI, PMID, or link. In the tweet you include your email address, and the hashtag "#ICanHazPDF". Here is what my tweet looked like to get the Adventist prostate cancer paper: Someone who has access to the article will then email it to you. You then delete the original tweet. Obvious downsides to this method include tweeting your email address, and, although you delete the tweet, the (semi-public) record of requesting a paywall-protected paper. An even better solution if it works for you, is the website solution http://sci-hub.io/ Simply: Go to the website http://sci-hub.io/ . Don't be disturbed by the Russian language text on the page... Paste the URL of the journal page for the paper you want the PDF for (not it's Pubmed page) into the box that it gives you. For the Adventist prostate cancer study, it was: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2015/11/11/ajcn.114.106450.long After a few seconds, up pops the full text of the paper. It seems to work for a large fraction (95%?) of papers that out there but paywall protected. This second method has been a bit hit or miss for me, but if it works, it is a lot easier than the #ICanHazPDF Twitter method. But I imagine it may not be available indefinitely... Yes, I know it is piracy, but information (esp. health information) yearns to be free... --Dean
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