Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Free Medical Journals

With the growing concern that the results of scientific research should be made available to a large number of people and not just a few who can afford to subscribe to costly journals, a number of scientific journals are now available free and in full text on the web. This unrestricted access to free scientific knowledge is bound to have a major impact on medical research and practice. More and more researchers now prefer to contribute to such journals so that the fruits of their research are more widely available. Naturally an article appearing in such a journal is more likely to be cited by other authors. Many medical journals with a high impact factor can now be accessed online in full text. Examples are CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, Journal of Clinical Investigation and the British Medical Journal. Some, like New England Journal of Medicine, Science, Pharmacological Reviews, Molecular Pharmacology and Journal of Experimental Medicine are available free online a few months or an year or two after publication.
Having up-to-date knowledge about what research material related to our specialty or field of interest is available freely on the net will be a great boon. One way of getting this information is from the different publishers’ websites. Free Medical Journals (http://freemedicaljournals.com/htm/index.htm) – the URL is so easy to remember - is quite a useful site that shows a list of more than 400 medical journals that are available free and in full text on the Internet. Clicking on the link to a journal will take you directly to the homepage of that journal. Names of those journals that are indexed in Medline (the US National Medical Library) are given in bold. The journals of different languages (you can translate a web page into English using any of the translation tools available on the net, such as Google’s language tool - http://www.google.com/language_tools) are arranged alphabetically and are also sorted out by specialty. The site also tells, in case of journals whose current issue is not freely available, how much time after publication it will be available online. If you wish to be informed by email about new free journals, you may subscribe to the Journal Alert.In addition to this the site has some other very useful links. Through the amedeo link you can subscribe to a weekly newsletter giving an overview of new articles on your topic of interest, which have been published recently in your personal journal subset, and a weekly update of your Personal AMEDEO Web page displaying the abstracts of those articles. There is also a literature search facility. It further links to GoldenLinks4Doctors page that has links to sixty very useful medical websites. The Books link has links to more than 650 medical books which are freely available in full text online sorted by specialty.

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