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Re: Obtaining papers?

In the world of palaeontology, the two that spring to mind are Acta
Palaeontologica Polonica at:
and Palaeontologia Electronica at:

Then there are the PLoS journals, as we saw today, but they aren't specialised on palaeontology.

For papers in other journals, the traditional answer has been "you get
them through your university library" -- which is not much help if
you're in high-school.

That depends. In Vienna, everyone can walk into the main university library and the geosciences library and take photocopies at their heart's and purse's delight. I got good training that way in efficient photocopying! Also, everyone can get an ID card from the main library for borrowing books. That's what I did 2 years before finishing school. In the geosciences library, at least students can borrow stuff over the weekend or holidays. (Professors can "borrow" anything anytime and keep it for months on end, but that's another story...)

But all is not lost: nine times out of ten, you can get a PDF by
emailing the author and asking nicely.  Most authors are delighted
that someone's taking an interest in their work.

Most are basically paid for being cited, too...

Some journals allow authors to put pdfs on their personal homepages. I've got obscure (but highly important) papers on Chinese geology by googling. That way I was able to cite them in my first paper.