Monday, April 10, 2006

Searching for Free Articles Online

Okay, so you want to find journal articles on a women's health topic. How do you find free full-text articles online?

PubMed is the major database indexing articles in the health sciences. It includes more than 12 million citations and abstracts for articles from almost 5,000 journals. Many of these citations are to journals that require a subscription for access. You can of course work with your librarian to obtain copies of journal articles that are not free. However, here are some search strategies for finding free full-text online, using PubMed's search limits. This list will also give you a good idea of the kinds of terminology used in the database, which typically uses clinical/technical language.

Note: These links will lead largely to research journals. More on limiting to consumer health-oriented pieces in another next post. Keep in mind, also, that these free full-text articles may be older in some cases, as some journals only make articles free after a year or so. If you want to see the results with all articles (not just free ones), delete the "AND "loattrfree full text"[sb]" portion of the search and rerun it.

Click on any word or phrase to go straight to a list of citations in PubMed for free English-language full-text articles:
  • Abortion, Induced
  • Abortion, Spontaneous (i.e., miscarriage)
  • Body Image
  • Breast Feeding
  • Breast Neoplasms (neoplasms=cancer)
  • Cesarean Section
  • Circumcision, Female
  • Contraception
  • Contraception, Postcoital (emergency contraception)
  • Depression, Postpartum
  • Domestic Violence
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Eating Disorders
  • Endometriosis
  • Episiotomy
  • Heart Diseases (lots of results; you'd probably want to zero in on a specific type)
  • Home Childbirth
  • Infertility, Female
  • Labor, Obstetric
  • Lung Neoplasms
  • Menarche
  • Menstruation
  • Menstruation Disturbances
  • Mental Disorders (also very broad)
  • Ovarian Neoplasms
  • Overweight
  • Poverty
  • Pregnancy
  • Rape
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Thyroid Diseases
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms
  • Uterine Neoplasms
  • Vaginal Birth After Cesarean

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