This question isn't about math per se, but I hope it will be of general interest to people studying math so I feel reasonably comfortable asking here. Let me start with an example: Today I had the following citation from a paper:

W. Hurewicz, On Duality Theorems, abstract 47-7-329, Bull. AMS 47 (1941), 562-563.

I tried Googling this directly, but it only turned up papers citing that paper. I tried typing the title into JSTOR, but got a bunch of nonsense. Finally, I had to Google the homepage of Bulletins of the AMS, then click on "past issues," scroll down and find 1941, click on that, go back and figure out which issue it was, click on that, go to another page, scroll down and find the relevant article, and click on that.

I'm fully aware that this is of course less work than walking to the library uphill both ways in the snow, but when I know exactly what I want there should be some way of getting to it without clicking more than once, at least in theory.

Does anyone have a good workflow for grabbing a paper quickly given the relevant bibliographical information? I'm willing to install software if that's what it takes. What I'm hoping for is a box where I copy/paste the above citation and the paper pops right up.

  • $\begingroup$ You can find a lot of math papers by searching Google Scholar. While this particular one is not available in full, a surprising number are. Many professors host public copies of their papers online, or public copies of papers written by others that they want their students to read, and Google Scholar finds all of them. It's fantastic. $\endgroup$ – Potato Jun 11 '13 at 17:46
  • $\begingroup$ Also, if it's a recent article, there's a good chance the author put it up himself on arxiv.org. $\endgroup$ – Samuel Jun 11 '13 at 17:53
  • $\begingroup$ The trouble with this particular case is that it's not a real paper, but only an abstract, that's why searching for it is rather difficult. Here's a direct link. It usually helps if you know the full journal name (here it is Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society). Googling for this name will lead you to this page and a few more clicks and you're there. $\endgroup$ – Martin Jun 11 '13 at 18:49

If you are affiliated with a university with the right subscriptions, you just go to


and search for your article. Last name of the author and a word or two from the title is usually enough. After you click on the article, there will be a small button far to the right associated to your library which will link you to online versions which you can download immediately, if they exist.

Your university's library's homepage should give you the details on how to log in on MathSciNet. Added: For me personally, my library requires me to go to http://www.ams.org.focus.lib.**MY-UNIVERSITY**.org/mathscinet/, log in with my university account, and it then redirects me to MathSciNet. I've simply bookmarked that address, and make sure I stay logged in, so using this bookmark redirects me directly to MathSciNet. Then I just need to search, click twice, and then I have the article. Your experience may differ.

(Unfortunately, MathSciNet did not have the specific article you referred to. It might be because it is too old. In my experience, all articles I've ever wanted to get which were published after 1950 have been on there.)

  • $\begingroup$ But what if you are not affiliated with a university with the right subscriptions? $\endgroup$ – Hans-Peter Stricker Jun 11 '13 at 17:39
  • $\begingroup$ Hmm... My library makes me click through several pages on other sites when I do that, but I guess it's better than nothing. $\endgroup$ – Daniel McLaury Jun 11 '13 at 17:40
  • $\begingroup$ @HansStricker: then presumably the article itself isn't available anyway. $\endgroup$ – Daniel McLaury Jun 11 '13 at 17:40
  • $\begingroup$ @Hans: There always is the Zentralblatt which is free if in rather restricted form. Some tips on finding papers can also be found in the answer to this thread. $\endgroup$ – Martin Jun 11 '13 at 18:53

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