FAQ‎ > ‎

How to get access to articles that are not free

Question: How does one get access to a reference in a journal such as

"American Journal of Community Psychology" for which the authors,

unlike authors of CS papers, don't post copies of their articles on

publicly accessible websites?

Answer: CMU's library has subscriptions to the online, digital versions of most journals. If you're on campus, you will often be able

to google an article, click on a link to the journal that hosts it and download it directly. You will have access to most resources (e.g. the ACM digital library) without doing anything special. In fact, you can go directly to ACM’s site without visiting the CMU library at all. If you're off campus, the process is a bit more


Let's take an example, an article in the journal mentioned above called "Public commitment and

energy conservation." My typcial process when off campus is:

1) find the paper using google (in this case, type in the title of

the paper as your google search and the first link below "Book results"

is to springerlink.com. I know that springerlink.com is a database of

spring journals, so I clicked on that.

2) copy the resulting url down (http://www.springerlink.com/content/j67146231r52xu11/ )

3) go to https://www.vpn.cmu.edu/+webvpn+/index.html 

4) type in your andrew username and password

5) paste the url for the paper

(http://www.springerlink.com/content/j67146231r52xu11/ ) into the box

labeled "go" and press go

6) this will take you to the springerlink page, but this time you will be able to download the paper.

Other useful information:

Library URL:

Once you have access, here are some quick ways to get to things you might care about, besides the obvious (Google scholar, etc.)
•    For journals, the library has full text resourcse: http://www.library.cmu.edu/Search/fulltext.html
Click on “Journals” and you’ll see the ACM digital library, Elsevier, and so on
•    You can also use CAMEO (https://cameo.library.cmu.edu//uhtbin/cgisirsi/x/x/0/49/) to search for things of interest, type the title of a journal and click the “Title” button (green, bottom of page). Then select the correct reference from the search results, and you’ll see a direct link to the online resources
•    If an article isn’t available in the CMU library, you can request a scanned pdf of it through inter library loan, and it’s often delivered within a day or two. https://illiad.library.cmu.edu/illiad/logon.html