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Article Access Alternatives

Briefly - Why Can't We Subscribe to Everything

The move from print journals to online subscriptions and Open Access to articles has highlighted that the journal subscription model is not the most efficient way to provide access to scholarly content.  OSU Libraries ensures access to a diverse and sustainable collection that supports research, teaching and learning through various services or options.  Explore this page to learn about alternative access options to journal articles.

Article Access Workflow

Use the following steps to access articles and support sustainable scholarship:

1. Search for your topic or article of interest in 1Search

2. If available, choose the open access version of your article, or check to see if an open access version is available.

3. If we don't have immediate access to the full-text of the article, place an Interlibrary Loan request (average 13-hour delivery and free for you), or

4. Place a request through our Article Delivery purchase service (less than 1-hour delivery and free for you).

Article request workflow diagram - open access, interlibrary loan, article delivery service

Open Access Options for Accessing Articles

Some ways to find legal, open versions of scholarly articles:

Google Scholar, PubMed, and other databases:

  • Set your Google Scholar preferences so that custom OSU Libraries links show up in your search results.
  • In other databases like PubMed use the “Find it @OSU” button.   360 link to full text

Interlibrary Loan - 13-Hour Delivery & Free For You

Interlibrary loan (ILL) is used to request items not owned by OSU Libraries. All currently registered OSU students, faculty, and staff with a valid ONID account can use ILL to request items at no charge. 

You can request journal articles, books, book chapters, conference proceedings, and more via ILL. All requested items are subject to copyright and availability.

Journal articles, book chapters, and conference proceedings are almost always provided electronically. In other words - we'll email you a copy. Sources like books will need to be picked up at your local OSU Libraries branch.

Articles usually arrive in 13 hours. Books typically take 2-10 business days to arrive depending on delivery speeds, staffing, and geography. 

Read more ILL FAQs and sign up for a free ILL account today.

How to Request an Article through Interlibrary Loan

Within 1Search, you may see articles with a "check for available services" link. Click that link, then look under the "How to get it" section for "Request from Interlibrary Loan" to place a request for that article.  


In many OSU Libraries Databases and in Google Scholar, look for the 360 link to full text button to open the full article.

If the library doesn't have it, request the article for free from Interlibrary Loan.

Watch this video to learn how to set up your OSU interlibrary loan account so you can get articles emailed to you  even when OSU Libraries doesn't have a subscription to the journal.

Watch this video to learn how to place a request through OSU's interlibrary loan.

Article Delivery Service - 1-Hour Delivery & Free for You

Our Article Delivery Service is used to request Elsevier journal content that was part of our Elsevier contract that expired on December 31, 2022. It will cover the titles in Elsevier's Freedom Collection and current articles starting in 2023 and beyond from our subscribed title list. It will exclude any Elsevier OA articles and any content in our post-termination access to our subscribed title list for the years 1997-2022. 

All currently registered OSU students, faculty, and staff with a valid ONID account can use this Article Delivery Service to request items at no charge. However, this service does cost the library more than interlibrary loan. Please consider how quickly you need the article when placing your requests.

Your journal article requests will be provided electronically. In other words - we'll email you a copy. Articles usually arrive within an hour (or much faster).

All requested items are subject to copyright. 

How to Request an Article through Article Delivery Service

Requesting an Article

1. To request a journal article through the Article Delivery Service, go to OSU Libraries' 1Search and then sign in using your ONID credentials.

OSU Libraries ONID sign in screenshot

2. Next, search for the article title you are interested in (or paste in the title if you already know it). Click on the article title. If the article is available via open access methods, click the open access link. If not, scroll down the page and click "Article Delivery Service."

Article Delivery Service option in 1Search

3. Click "request PDF" on the following screen.

Article delivery service request PDF screen

4. Within an hour you will receive an email with a link to access the article you requested. You will have 30 days to download this article to your computer.

Screenshot of article delivery service email


Troubleshooting Tips

Open access articles - If you attempt to request an article that has an open access version available, you will receive a link to the open access version instead.

Interlibrary loan only message - If you attempt to request an article that falls outside of the date range our Article Delivery Service covers, you will be redirected to our Interlibrary Loan service to place a request via that method. Interlibrary Loan requests take just a little longer than Article Delivery Service requests to arrive -- typical Interlibrary Loan requests arrive in 13 hours.

Unable to download the article - If you are unable to download the article for any reason, please contact us through any of the Ask a Librarian methods.