As a graduate student, there is no way in which I could afford to subscribe to all the numerous journals available and relevant to my field. Annual journal subscriptions usually cost between $50 and $100 for students. Pay-Per-Article subscriptions may cost between $20 and $30 for a 24-hour-access to an article.

So how do I acquire recently published papers without having to pay for them?

I write to the corresponding authors and request for the papers.

And in the many times that I have done it in the past, never had one author denied my request. Never. In fact, almost all of them responded to me within 24 hours. A handful of them even included additional papers that I did not request for, which they thought would be helpful to me in my research. And some of them even invited me to check out their research and other published papers in their professional website.

So if you find yourself paying for journal articles in the future, consider writing to the authors and request for the papers instead. This should save you some money for the rainy days!