Paywall Issues links to sites that we are able to access. That means at the time of publication:

  • the site allows unlimited access, or
  • the site allows at least one “free” read.

That’s the policy, but as with English spelling and grammar, there are exceptions. 

First, some media outlets require local readers to have a subscription. will not be aware of that requirement if the story isn’t local to us (Toronto, Ontario, Canada). Please accept our apologies in advance if/when this happens to you.

Second, some media outlets carry good articles that we want to share. These outlets require registration, which usually involves providing an email address. The post will alert you to this requirement.

Third are the academic journals, which in most cases provide an abstract of the article and require a subscription to read the full text. If more than the abstract is needed to explain the post, obtains consent from the author to publish their contact information. Readers who want to learn more about the paywalled research are invited to contact the author directly. In those times when a subscription is not required (the article is “open access”), this will be noted — even cheered — in the post.

Website owners regularly review decisions to paywall (or not). What’s accessible today may not be accessible tomorrow, and vice versa. checks all the links when the post is published and any time it is referenced in a later post. also scans regularly for broken links, which detect that an external web site has implemented a paywall. We remove articles that are blocked by paywalls from the posts.