If you are a caregiver/health sciences student with particular interested in the Life Sciences, this post will be of special interest to you. The NCBI Bookshelf, from 1999 onwards, provides free access to full text documents and books on their website.
As of date, the most popular resources used via this tool remain textbooks. There are a number of classic textbooks available on this platform, notable ones being Stryer’s Biochemistry, Baron’s Medical Microbiology, and Walker’s Clinical Methods. While these editions are older, they are still accessed by a number of students and educators all across the world.
The tool is particularly helpful for professors and students. Access to good quality reading material is essential for building the knowledge base of students. For this purpose, professors can use this resource to get good sources of information and pass them down to their students. On top of that, being a product of the U.S. National Library of Medicine attaches a level of pedigree to this tool. It is easily available for students, mobile in terms of access whether by desktop, laptops or phones, and can be a common platform to access material for large study groups.
Outside the domain of those who need the tool for learning, publishers, editors and authors will also benefit from publishing textbooks free online. It makes for growth in market reach via free advertisement and marketing which grows when good quality books are made freely available. This, in turn, also increases the audience size, and becomes an economically efficient way to support students in their educational endeavors. Summing up, the NCBI bookshelf can help you in a number of ways, some being
- You can convert your printed text/ eBook and publish it online
- Effectively index your book in Google and PubMed for making it available to anyone, anywhere.
- Allow viewing via any web browser
- Grow your audience beyond those who have purchased your textbook
- Give links to help readers locate your online resources and increase your own online visibility in turn.
So, the Bookshelf is there to help you, whether you need it for purposes of study or discover-ability. Do go ahead and read this other blog post to learn about some rules regarding inclusion of documents. And do try out this tool for yourself here!