Three Sources for Free Articles Online

November 2011, Number 127

It’s been a while since we discussed how and where to search for the full text of articles online. In general here we’re talking about scholarly journal articles (as opposed to
popular magazine articles).

As the internet matures and more content becomes available, searchers now have at least three options for finding articles. They all offer a range of information from many
academic disciplines.

BASE (Beilefeld Academic Search Engine)is a new one that lets you search over 32.6 million documents from 2,059 sources in over 60 countries. Think of it as Google Scholar or Microsoft Academic with an international edge.


Google Scholar includes not only articles but also theses, books, abstracts, and court opinions. Google Scholar collects content by crawling websites, with new papers added several times a week. “Cited by” is a nice feature of this search tool. If an article has been cited by other articles within Google Scholar, the reference will include a link leading to the other articles that cite the article of interest.

Microsoft Academic Search includes over 36.8 million publications. You can search by keyword and limit by author, conference, journal, organization, or year. Microsoft
Academic Search also reveals cited references and will create a Citation Graph showing the links between cited authors. This, along with other visualization tools, makes Microsoft Academic Search useful and fun to use.

DID YOU KNOW? – Some Articles Will Never be Free

The scholarly literature is broad and very deep. It covers every subject on the planet, and it goes back hundreds of years.

When the time comes that the project at hand calls for a specific article, author, citation, or reference; or the information just does not turn up in the free sources, there are other options. For decades the information industry has collected and indexed the scholarly literature in ways that make it findable. Some articles reside in subject specific sources such as Psychological Abstracts or Physics Abstracts. Others can come from multidisciplinary aggregators such as ProQuest Dialog or EBSCO.

When the free sources just don’t work for you, check out the subscription databases.

For more information, feel free to contact Shamel Information
Services or 858-673-4673.

Notes, News, and Announcements

Here’s a cool tool I learned of since the last issue of Information Update –

DailyMed from the National Library of Medicine
DailyMed includes Food and Drug Administration labels (also known as package inserts). The site currently contains information on 30,970 drugs. Happily, it’s also free!
(Thanks to Information Update reader Erich Blase.)

There’s a new twist on the strategies for convincing Google to actually search on the terms you enter. It used to be that you precede your term with a + sign. Last month we
reported that the new approach is to use “” double quotes. Now, it appears, we want to use Verbatim search.

Here’s how it works – After you enter your search term and find that Google has taken liberties with it, look in the menu bar on the left for the option “More search tools.”
Click there, then click on Verbatim.

For example, if you search on storytelling, and Google returns hits with story telling, storytellings, and storyteller, use the Verbatim tool to insist on storytelling, and only
storytelling as the search term.