Health Sciences Library
Off-site access to library electronic resources is limited to current OSU students, faculty or staff members.
If you are not a current OSU student, faculty or staff member, here are some tips for accessing journal articles:
1. Search for articles using PubMed or Google Scholar
PubMed, which is freely available to everyone, indexes the health sciences literature. If an article is available for free in PubMed Central, you will find it with a PubMed search and there will be a link to the full text.
If there is not a direct link to a free copy of the article from PubMed, it may still be available for free elsewhere on the internet, and you can often find it using Google Scholar. Copying and pasting the article title from PubMed into Google Scholar will provide you a direct link if there’s a free version of the article online.
2. Use a browser plugin like Unpaywall
Unpaywall connects users directly to open, legal copies of articles, wherever they find them on the internet. This free tool is available for Chrome and Firefox.
3. Contact the corresponding author
If you don’t find a free copy online, the next step is to try emailing the corresponding author. Authors want their papers used, and will often share a copy of their manuscript by email if asked. Follow the link from a PubMed or Google Scholar record to the publisher’s page, and see if there's a link to the author’s email. Authors often make themselves easy to track down with Google, too.
4. Borrow a print copy
If you practice in or near Ohio and are an Ohio resident, you’ll be eligible for a library card from the State Library of Ohio. You can request a free library card from their website. If there’s no free copy of the article available online, check the OhioLINK catalog to see if any OhioLINK libraries own a print copy of the journal issue. If so, request that the journal be sent to the OhioLINK library nearest to you. Your public library may also be able to borrow these materials.
You may also be able to access electronic resources for free from a local OhioLINK library; call ahead or check their website for their policies. You’re always welcome to use the libraries here at Ohio State.
If you’re in another state, check with local academic or public libraries on their policies. If you’re near a veterinary school, their library will likely have some helpful services as well.
5. Interlibrary Services
Check with your public library to see if they have an Interlibrary Services (ILL) department. They may be able to borrow a copy of a journal article or book chapter from another library. Columbus Metropolitain Library provides ILL services information on their ILLiad website.
6. Get a copy from the publisher's website
You can often get a copy of an article from its publisher’s website. Links to the publisher's website often can be found using a PubMed or Google Scholar search.
Sometimes publishers make articles available for free, but they often charge to access each article. Many commercial publishers charge between $15 and $50 per article. If you’re a member of a professional society, you can often get free access to society publications or to journals the society subscribes to on its members' behalf.