Originally Posted by Ratamahatta
-Can I publish a scientific paper if I don't belong to any scientific institution or research center, basically if I work from home in my spare time?
-What if I found a good subject for a paper, how do I find out if the subject has been already researched and written about? I can't possibly brows thousands of scientific journals with thousands of articles searching for a specific topic.
These two are connected. I would envision the biggest problem with publishing scientific papers "from home", would be precisely lack of access to literature. Scientific literature is disappointingly hard to access. For a random visitor, the fees are astronomical. Institutions get access to most literature for reasonable prices though, and if you belong to an institution, you have no personal costs.
You won't have to browse thousands of scientific journals with thousands of articles, but generally, in order to publish a meaningful paper, you have to be sufficiently familiar with the literature touching the subject, that you actually will have browsed hundreds of articles. I like Scopus (but again, it's not free). Use Google Scholar if you want something free.