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What's free: Journals?
- One Website, Free Medical Journals, provides an alphabetical listing of over 980 free medical journals.
- The journal depository PubMedCentral, provided by the National Library of Medicine, is a digital archive of life sciences journals.
- BioMedCentral is an online publishing venture of biomedical journals.
- HighWire Press has free full-text sciences articles. They describe themselves as "the largest archive of free full-text science on Earth."
What's Free: Books?
- The Website Free Books for Doctors offers over 650 free full-text medical books.
- The search interface PubMed has a set of online medical books that are fully searchable.
What's not free?
How can you get access to the books or journals that are not free?
There are a number of options to access biomedical journals that require a fee for access:
- Pay for an individual article from the publisher.
If the journal or its publisher has a Website, it is possible that you can purchase one article through the Website.
- Pay a commercial document delivery provider for the article.
A list of commercial document delivery providers are available at this site: http://www.docdel.net/Medical_Sciences_and_Pharmaceuticals.html
- If a library that you use (a public or corporate library) does not have the journal or book that you want, the library can obtain it for you from another library through interlibrary loan.
- Depending on where you live, you may be able to gain access to a library that has the book or journal that you want. In some states, academic health sciences libraries that are publicly funded are open to the public. In other states, there may be a free-standing medical library that is open to the public. The Consumer and Patient Health Information Section of the Medical Library Association has a list of consumer health libraries in the United States.
Tools on Google
If you need to locate a library that owns a particular book, Google has added "Find in a Library" as part of their search features. Just type "find a library" (remember to include the quotes) and the name of the book you are trying to locate (also in quotes). Using WorldCat (a service of OCLC Online Computer Library Center), you can find a title then insert a zip code or state to locate a library near you that owns the text. Just remember, the library you find may NOT be open to the public!
Google Scholar: To locate citations to scholarly articles or open access full-text articles, go to http://scholar.google.com/. Search using textwords, author name, even subject headings. But remember: much of what you find will not be free full text.
Google Print: While largely nonmedical (and still experimental at this stage), Google Print will provide links to full-text books on the Web.
- Find a consumer health library close to you.
- Get a full-text article from 2002 from the British Medical Journal (BMJ).
- Try to get the full-text of an article from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
Related topics: Searching PubMed