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I have graduated from university and am no longer enrolled. Even while there, I didn't really have any experience finding and reading research papers written by others.

Is there an online database where people post their papers so that others can download to read?

Looking for a list of these databases/websites. Paid is okay too.

Update After reading the comments and answers below, I'd like to add that I am looking for research papers in the Computer Science / Computer Engineering / Electrical Engineering fields, and that I have graduated a few years ago from an undergraduate Computer Science program. I have not attended graduate school nor pursued a PhD.

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    It's a shame that this question is downvoted. It may seem to be completely obvious for academics, for lay persons maybe not so much.
    – user115896
    Nov 13 '19 at 21:33
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    But the question is also exceedingly unspecific: It doesn't even list a particular field. Nov 14 '19 at 2:07
  • After reading the comments and answers below, I'd like to add that I am looking for research papers in the Computer Science / Computer Engineering / Electrical Engineering fields, and that I have graduated a few years ago from an undergraduate Computer Science program. I have not attended graduate school nor pursued a PhD.
    – chyeaaah
    Nov 14 '19 at 16:06
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This is going to depend a lot on your discipline. Some disciplines are very good at keeping papers and preprints publically available. For example, most math and physics papers get papers put up on the arXiv but this is rarer in other fields. Some other fields put papers up on SSRN, but some fields don't up up almost any preprints.

It isn't clear from your question if you've completed just your undergraduate or did some graduate work. Given your statement about not having looked at papers before, I'm guessing this mean that you have either finished just an undergrad or finished a master's but nothing beyond that. If that's the case, I'm also not sure that finding papers will in general be useful for you. It might help to clarify why you want to find papers and what your goals are.

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  • After reading the comments and answers below, I'd like to add that I am looking for research papers in the Computer Science / Computer Engineering / Electrical Engineering fields, and that I have graduated a few years ago from an undergraduate Computer Science program. I have not attended graduate school nor pursued a PhD.
    – chyeaaah
    Nov 14 '19 at 16:06
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Some journals give free access to articles after publication for limited time.

If you need older articles:

  • google scholar crawls open copies and arXiv
  • researchgate (ask directly the corresponding author for a copy)
  • reddit/scholar
  • sci-hub

Read the according thesis if available, but often thesis are publicly published on university servers

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    It’s worth noting that downloading papers from sci-hub (usually) constitutes copyright violation. It’s unlikely that Elsevier is going to go after him for downloading things for personal use, but it might get him in trouble with his employer for violating their network usage policies if he did so at work.
    – nick012000
    Nov 15 '19 at 1:21
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You don't specify a location, but where I live, using my public library card (i.e. free membership to municipal library), I have access to thousands of journals from hundreds of publishers via the library's subscriptions from EBSCOhost and ProQuest aggregators.

These include several hundred journals under the subject heading Computer Science as well as several hundred under Engineering. My library's subscription includes only a handful of ACM and IEEE journals, so if you want those, your best bet is to go directly to the source. However, if you're looking for a broader selection of international academic journals, I recommend consulting your local library.

Another library suggestion, if the public library doesn't work for you, is to contact your alma mater to see whether there are any library services available to alumni.

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There are a lot of paper databases out there you can use to find some papers to read:

But not all the retrieved papers from these services are freely available. If you have access to some University network, probably most of the paid papers will be unlocked for you. Most of the Universities around the world have agreements with major publishers.

If you are interested, I've made a tool to help me to find papers for my research https://github.com/jonatasgrosman/findpapers. You just need to write a query, and the tool will automatically search for matches on many databases for you :)

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If you're confident that you know the foundations or you're willing to put in many hours to catch up, then kudos to you! Literature review is a grueling process and you're going to find that it's going to take you a while for you to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Since you specified that your background is in Comp Sci and Elec Eng, you'll find plenty of high quality papers in ieeeXplore and elsevier. If you do generalized searches like in google scholar, you may get mixed results since that pulls in papers from all over the google-space. But you can get lucky and it might be easier to start out from there.

Good luck!

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