Accessing Academic Journal Articles when away from a University

Now is the time when students, and indeed academics, are away from universities.  From having academic journal articles at your fingertips, you can find yourself confronted by previously good natured academic publishers persuading you to part with your hard earned cash in order to access an article.

This is not a good thing.

So, from hardest to easiest, here are methods for accessing those articles.  This is for the University of Oxford, but other universities have the same setup.

University Library Journal Search

For example

Various journals have various sign in mechanisms, which is a bit of a pain, but you probably will be able to find what you are looking for here.


Many journals are accessible when connected within your university – access tends to be based on the IP address of your computer.  So, no access from outside.  To counter this, you can use a VPN – for example – you need to download VPN client software, and that should make it seem as though your computer is in Oxford, and you should have access.

Google Scholar

The other way of doing it is to search for the article title in Google Scholar.  See for example . The pdf link on the right should give you access.  If that doesn’t work, you can sometimes find the right version by clicking on ‘All n versions’, as one of those may be the pdf.


And if that doesn’t work, just Google the name of the article followed by filetype:pdf, for example

Appeal to the Author’s Vanity

And if that all fails, write to the author(s) directly.  We are vain people, and there’s nothing better than to receive a request from a student, particularly if they are genuinely interested in the work.  Just type their name into Google, and their university webpage should show you their contact email address.

Agent-Based Models for Simulating Human Behavior: IFORS Conference 2017

This presentation including joint work with Alberto Franco, was presented at the IFORS (International Federation of Operational Research Societies) conference in Quebec City, QC, Canada.  We present two different agent-based models for simulating human behavior.

We use the example of group decision making.

The first model uses a cognitive fitness landscape to model the quality of a decision, where participants compare their decision with their nearest neighbor.  The decision is based on an external comparison.

The second model uses an internal comparison of a decision with the next best alternative.  The model is based on the psychological concept of hidden profiles, where participants only make the best decision by sharing information with the group.