Our friends at SPARC shared with us a quote from a member, who summed up the economic challenges of academic publishing for libraries and universities as, "Often, we are paying for convenience, not access".
It is estimated that more than 28% of scholarly articles are open access and that it is even more common with recent, frequently accessed articles (With unpaywall users in 2015 finding that 47% of the articles they tried to access had an open access version available).
The problems with the oligarchical practices of publishers are systemic, and our individual behavior changes will not be able to solve them. However, our individual actions can potentially be a drop of water in a wave that changes the landscape of academic information. Applying varied search strategies is not something unfamiliar to academics, we now ask that you consider applying a few new strategies to support the shift from an oligarchical system of closed ownership to a system of free or open access to critical information.
Additionally, using a few of the tools listed below can help you find and access information quickly, including information and sources you might not be able to access as quickly through library means, like ILL (although we are huge fans of ILL and encourage you to use it whenever needed!)
Interlibrary Loan (also referred to as Get it!, ILL, and Document Delivery) is something that many of us are familiar with (This video introduces the process if you have not used it before). And these services will continue to be essential to researchers getting access to needed resources.
A suggested order of operations for accessing a known item would consist of: