The question is simple. I am working on a topic. I came across a paper that is behind a paywall which my research institution (i.e. university) has no access to it and it may or may not be relevant to my research. If I skip it and some reviewer says that work is quite close to the work I have submitted and I should cite it, or even worse it is so close that it is on the edges of plagiarism.
I have the option of obtaining it from different sources without paying. Should I take it to avoid such claim? If I pay there is a good chance that I wasted money. In today's world literature is so vast and there are so many false positives and a paper might cost up to 40 bucks.
Let me flip that question. Suppose I created a publishing firm. I and my mates do superb research and publish on a journal of our publishing firm. (Assume our research quality is good, so omit academic nepotism.) One catch, our firm charges and exorbitant fee (say millions) for granting access to libraries and universities. Then we start waiting. When I see other research quite similar to ours, I press charges that our work has not been cited or acknowledged and the situation is plagiarism. I am the academic equivalent of a patent troll, except that you cannot see my work until I sue you. Should the poor guy suffer a plagiarism charge just because I kept my research behind a paywall that he/she cannot reach?
Professors and other academic people I ask about it pretend to be either unconscious or dead. Just kidding, they usually offer to send the papers that I cannot reach. But it does not answer my question.
p.s. There is a similar question here citing the problem but not the ethical dilemma. Are there any known Universities that refuse to pay for paywall access to academic journals?
EDIT due to possible duplicate reports: There are three questions which all refer to the same problem: unfettered access to academic research. I paraphrase and summarise three questions below. Suppose there is a body of research (say, group of articles) that are beyond the researcher's reach due to lack of resources (no ILL, no institution access, no sufficient budget etc). Should the researcher take the "gray" ways to obtain it? If not is he/she responsible for research he/she does not have access to? If so, where do we draw the line? How much is too much to pay to access research? (hence the publisher question) It is not the 80s anymore. Research is published almost faster than one can read and it is readily available (at an inflated cost). So, thorough examination of literature to conduct original research is unjustifiably more expensive than before.