Q. Why is a database asking me to pay for an article?

It appears as if a database (that I have already logged into) wants me to log in to access an article.


It appears as if a database wants me to purchase access to an article/journal/database in order to get the text I need.



Never pay to access text.

Use the Library’s Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service, linked under “Services” on the Library home page, to request that we get you a copy of the text.

Explanation (why this happens): Some databases provide fee-based access for users that do not have ILL service or who desire to use this type of access. This fee-based option cannot be removed from the database and sometimes causes confusion. Troy patrons should never pay for access this way.


Library databases can be accessed in two ways.

The first way is, individually. Users can select individual databases from the Library’s databases page or from the drop-down menu on the Library home page. Of the Library’s 250+ databases, only a handful include a fee-based access option. These databases are: The Cochrane Library, Project Muse, Sage Journals, Science Direct, and Wiley Online Library. Of these databases, only Access Science can be limited to journals to which the Library subscribes—instructions are shown when you click to access this database individually. When you access these databases in this way, expect to see this option—simply use our ILL service when you need the text of an article that is not available online.

The second way to access databases is through the Discovery search box on the Library’s home page. This is usually where the issue at hand crops up. This method searches dozens of databases simultaneously and attempts to maximize access to information. In doing so, it sometimes leads researchers to an unexpected or confusing place.  Sometimes that confusing place is an individual publisher’s website (from which content may or may not be openly available). More often than not, you are lead to one of the following databases, databases from which the article may or may not be available. The Cochrane Library, Project Muse, Sage Journals, Science Direct, and Wiley Online Library. The search system knows that the article has the potential to be in one of those places, but it does not know for sure—that is why you sometimes end up at a fee-based access screen.



  • Last Updated Sep 18, 2017
  • Views 93
  • Answered By Jay Brandes

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