Full text articles – Helpful tips to get them

When you identify articles from PubMed:

  1. In PubMed – you can limit a search to articles that are free online, by clicking the Free articles filter on the left side of the screen
  2. Some foreign journals are available free in India. Sometimes some issues or the entire journal is free for a short while. PubMed will not mark them as free. Simply click the icon for the article and test if it is free
  3. For recent articles, email the author. (Go to the abstract view by clicking the title and then click ‘author information’). There is a fair chance that you will get the article from him / her. Do remember to mention that you need it for academic purposes. And don’t forget to thank the author once you receive it.
  4. Do remember that there are several journals whose articles are not marked Free in PubMed. You may not even see the icon for the journal. But they do have websites with free archives.
  5.  Many Indian journals and those of developing countries also have records in PubMed that are not marked Free, even though they have websites with free archives

When you just have a list of references for which you need full texts

  1. Go to PubMed. Paste each title that you have, to locate the article, or use PubMed’s Single Citation Matcher, to locate it. Check out the tips as above. If PubMed has not helped, follow the steps below:

When you cannot find articles free through PubMed:

  1. Do Google the journal’s website and check the archives
  2. Copy and paste the article title in Google Scholar. Sometimes an author has posted his/her article in an institutional archive or on his/her Research Gate profile. You may be able to obtain a copy from either source (You will need to register yourself in ResearchGate)
    You can also install the “Google Scholar Button”
  3. Check out JURN – www.jurn.org – a search tool for open access content. To learn how to use JURN easily – go through our blog post on this
  4. Install the “Unpaywall” Extension. It helps you immediately know if your article is available free or not. Unpaywall is an open access database of over 24 million free articles. This cannot be searched in the Unpaywall site, but you need to install an extension so that you can find free articles, while searching other sites /databases. To install the extension- click here – https://unpaywall.org/products/extension. To read more about Unpaywall – visit our blog post on this
  5. Use Mendeley! Mendeley is a Reference Manager. You need to create a free account to use this. In the web interface of Mendeley, as soon as you sign in, you will see an option to search and find articles. If you download the reference manager, then you need to use the “Literature Search” option. Do note that this tool searches the collection of libraries created by various Mendeley users. When you find an article reference that you are looking for, you may or may not find the full text  as that depends on various settings. But still, this is a good resource to find articles
  6. Try Paperity: Paperity is an aggregator of journals and papers from different disciplines. Coverage: It includes subjects like Sciences, Technology, Medicine, Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts. All articles indexed here are Open Access.  Paperity makes sure to index only genuine scholarly literature. It does not include student assignments, business presentations or cooking recipes classified as scholarly papers. The plus point of Paperity is, it assigns permanent URLs to article pages which never changes so that everyone can safely link to them without the risk of it becoming invalid.

Reach out to libraries via NUCCSI and the CSIR Journal Gateway

  1. Go to the NUCSSI website – http://nucssi.niscair.res.in . On the right side of the screen look for the search box. Choose the Journal option. Type in your journal title and pick up the correct one from the drop down that shows. The main central part of the table will show which library in the country has the journal, with details of the year/s of availability. You may need to approach your library to connect and get the article for you.
  2. Go to the CSIR Journal Gateway – http://www.icast.org.in/ucat/csirjg.htm. Type in the name of the journal (or words in the journal title) in the search box (which says “Search by Any Word in The Title“) and search. There is an option RA to request the article. You may need to approach your librarian to check this, or you could try making the request to the library

Page last checked / updated on 18-Nov-2020

About Us

Quality Medical (QMed) Knowledge Foundation is a registered Trust set up in 2007. Our aim is to help medical students, academicians, practitioners and consumers integrate best practices in searching medical literature, and critically appraising the same, resulting in delivery and availability of optimal health care services.

Contact Us

QMed Knowledge Foundation

A-3, Shubham Centre, Ground Floor
Cardinal Gracious Road, Chakala,
Andheri East, Mumbai - 400099.
+91-22-40054474