My friend recently published in a big journal, and his article was also chosen to feature in the print version. However, he doesn't have a print subscription so he was not able to get a copy of the issue that featured his research. Is there any way I can surprise him by getting a copy of that specific print issue without paying for the yearly subscription?

  • 5
    Ask the journal.
    – JRN
    Mar 30 at 12:44
  • 2
    Or ask someone who subscribes to give you a copy.
    – Peter Flom
    Mar 30 at 13:37
  • 1
    I agree with @JRN ... Many print journals do sell individual issues on their web site. But it is likely not cheap!
    – GEdgar
    Mar 30 at 13:42

2 Answers 2


It is likely that your friend already has reprints of the article; probably several, though they won't be the complete issue that the article appeared in. That is (or was, at least) standard practice. Having the issue itself probably has limited value for them.

Or, ask them for one of the reprints and have it hardbound with a nice cover as a gift back to them. If that isn't possible, a print of a PDF from the web can be bound.

I'd suggest you also consider something different, such as a bottle of some culturally appropriate beverage or something like a fancy pen or pencil inscribed with the date of issue of the article. That is both useful and a nice remembrance.

  • Maybe reprints are still common in some fields, but in mine they haven't been part of standard practice for a while now, though at least some publishers still offer them at a cost. C.f. Have most journals recently stopped providing off-prints to authors?, a question that was posted 10 years ago.
    – Anyon
    Mar 30 at 19:46
  • @Anyon, I am so (so) old. One can also have a pdf copy from the web bound as a remembrance. I retired before that linked article was posted and didn't join here until after. Live and (sometimes) learn.
    – Buffy
    Mar 30 at 19:59

Ask the publisher, this falls squarely in their domain. Try to reach the publisher's staff that handle the journal - most journals will have an email address on their webpage and/or ways to contact them, e.g. here's a form for the World Scientific journal Journal of Uncertain Systems.

Only caveat is that this is not likely to be cheap.

(PS: It's possible a library which subscribes to the journal will be willing to give you their print copy after a while. You could try asking them too.)

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