As a scientist, you spend long, exhausting hours searching for scholarly articles on your topic of study. And once you find the content you need, you still have to navigate the often complex process of actually accessing the full-text articles. It's frustrating and tedious, taking up valuable time that could be better spent in the lab.
In the rush to complete your research (before someone else beats you to it) you can't afford to miss out on relevant and timely research or get sloppy in your spending.
Use this 4-step checklist to help establish a faster, easier, and more cost-efficient search and discovery routine.
1. Consolidate your literature search
Perhaps one of the easiest ways to improve your research efficiency is to cut down on the hours you spend searching for new and relevant content. With the technologies available today, there's no reason to waste time navigating a vast sea of discovery portals. Instead, find a good, integrated search tool that includes all of your preferred publishing websites and research databases. As an added time-saver, take advantage of automated content discovery features, like journal table-of-contents alerts.
2. Order wisely
When it comes to accessing scholarly articles, there's no shame in being frugal! To keep your acquisition costs under control, it's important to determine the cheapest legal way to get the full-text papers you need. But again, you don't want to waste valuable time trying to figure out whether you already have subscription access; whether there's a free or Open Access option available; or—if you need to pay for the content—whether you should (or even can) rent rather than purchase the paper.
3. Ensure instant access
In today's fast-paced digital world, there's no reason you should have to wait around to get the papers you order. Take advantage of on-demand document delivery to get instant online access to full-text PDFs, or have them delivered to your email within a matter of minutes. In the competitive world of scholarly research, every second counts.
4. Keep everything in one place
Once you've taken steps to speed up your process of finding and accessing scholarly articles, don't let your good work go to waste. Use a multipurpose reference management tool to keep all your articles and citations well organized and easily accessible. You can learn more about managing references here: Mastering the Art of Reference Management.
With this checklist, you can spend a lot less time on literature search and access. And a lot more time on the more scientific aspects your research project.
At Reprints Desk, we'd love to help you check off the boxes on this list. Leading-edge research firm JINFO recently conducted an in-depth review of our research platform, Article Galaxy. Here’s a snippet of the analysis:
"Article Galaxy provides access to research from a huge range of publishers and journals with clear information as to the cost-per-article in addition to bibliographic and supporting information for each article."
For more, read an exclusive copy of Jinfo’s full product review.