Answered By Library Staff
Last Updated: Sep 15, 2023     Views: 40

Paywalls are a website/publisher wanting the user to pay either a one-time fee (such as $30 for an article/paper download from a scholarly journal) or pay for a subscription in order to access its content (such as The New Yorker magazine site allowing you to read only so many articles before blocking access to others).

In the research context, users typically encounter paywalls when not using the library resources.

Oftentimes, you can copy and paste the title of the article behind a paywall into the Discovery catalog to see if one of our databases grant access to the materials. If from the NYTs, we also offer a student pass to access on the NYTs site, though content from that publisher will still come up in the catalog and some databases. 

If we do not have access, the catalog might prompt you to place an interlibrary loan request for the content, or you might find the content on the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine.

Be aware that there is online-only content from publishers which also offer print and indexed content to libraries that can be accessed only on their website (not in a database) in order to drive subscriptions. Much like other born-digital content, our institution may not be able to get a license to such content and it may not be available via interlibrary loan (because no libraries can get a license to it), either. 

To learn more about paywalls, see the relevant tab in the box below: