PubMed Central, the National Library of Medicine’s free digital archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature, has announced new participating journals and the addition of new content. Four new titles, The Canadian Veterinary Journal, Harm Reduction Journal, The International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity, and Retrovirology, have joined PMC and are now available online. Selected back issues of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences have also been digitized and added to the archive.
Developed and maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a division of NLM, PMC archives literature from multiple sources into a searchable, full text database for public use. All articles are peer-reviewed, with over 150 journals currently participating. Non-electronic back issues of PMC journals are being digitized and added to the database. In some cases, back files made available on PMC exceed what is available from the publisher.
Participation is voluntary, with content and immediacy set by each journal. All peer-reviewed, primary research articles must be included, and free access to complete journal contents is encouraged. Some journals prefer to delay public access for a short period, but most make articles available within a year of publication.
As information specialists, the knowledge and services provided by librarians have a reach extending beyond the borders of the University of Minnesota. In the case of Cindy Gruwell, a Bio-Medical reference librarian, they travel all the way to Puerto Rico.
Gruwell partnered with U of M faculty Dr. Brad Benson, M.D., and Dr. James Nixon, M.D. to present University of Minnesota/University of Puerto Rico: Practice-Based Learning Collaborative, a continuing medical education course, in San Juan, Puerto Rico on May 8, 2004. Attended by nearly 60 UPR medical faculty members, the seminar detailed how to incorporate practice-based learning into the UPR medical residency program.
“This was really a collaboration to improve educational standards,” said Gruwell of the partnership. “It allowed us to combine our expertise at finding and using information tools with their expertise at reading and interpreting the literature.” Examples of tools covered in the presentation include database searching to pinpoint relevant material, and the use of personal digital assistant software for point-of-care reference. “The audience was already experienced,” said Gruwell, “We just showed them the structure of the tools.”
Dr. Benson was contacted by Dr. Yolanda Gomez, UPR Assistant Dean for Graduate Medical Education, after an accreditation review showed less strength in practice-based learning than the university desired. The day-long seminar was organized in a month, complete with a blog created by Gruwell including resources in English and Spanish.
The success of the seminar left both universities with hopes of future collaboration. Gruwell praised the U of M and UPR faculty, saying, “Everyone was a pleasure to work with. The atmosphere was very positive, and everyone was eager to learn.”
-Heather Bryan, Veterinary Medical Library
As a current student or employee of the University of Minnesota, you have access to an immense collection of online journals, books, and databases. All you need is a U of M Internet ID (e.g., clem099), password, and a computer with Internet access.
Links to electronic resources may be found in a variety of ways, but searching in MNCAT, the University Libraries online catalog (http://mncat.lib.umn.edu), is a good way to begin. You may search by title of a journal (e.g., Gene Therapy) or book (e.g., Goodman and Gilman’s The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics), or by subject. If TC Internet Resource appears in the MNCAT record, you may click on that link, and connect to the full text of the journal or book.
There are a couple of shortcuts to find full text articles in journals. The first is to use the “E-Journals” webpage (http://www.lib.umn.edu/articles.ej.phtml), which is available as a link on the Bio-Medical Library homepage (http://www.biomed.lib.umn.edu):
The second shortcut is to use the Find It buttons that appear in many article indexes, such as Medline or Current Contents.
NOTE: To obtain full text articles via PubMed, you must log in via the Library’s website using the URL provided (http://www.lib.umn.edu/cgi-bin/pubm.cgi), not the public URL (http://www.pubmed.gov). By connecting through the Libraries’ website, you will be asked to login to PubMed with your U of M ID and password, thereby proving to publishers of articles cited in PubMed that you are a member of an institution that has paid subscriptions to at least some of their journals.
Links to many other health-related electronic resources, such as MICROMEDEX, UpToDate, and collections of full text medical books such as MD Consult and STAT! Ref, may be found via the “BioMedSearch” link on the Bio-Medical Library’s homepage (see above).
If you have any questions about electronic (or print) resources, please contact the Reference Staff by phone (612-626-3260).
-Kathy Robbins, Bio-Medical Library
PLoS Medicine, a new open access publication of the Public Library of Science, is currently taking submissions for the debut fall 2004 issue. The journal will feature international advancements in all medical disciplines, including epidemiology and public health. Articles will be selected by teams of academic and professional editors, who are supported by expert peer-reviewers.
As an open access journal, the content of PLoS Medicine will be free and immediately available on the PLoS website and in PubMed Central for anyone with an Internet connection to read, download, and redistribute. Publishing costs of the non-profit company are paid by authors, who retain copyright on their published work, using research grant money and sponsors.
This “open access” model of publishing is envisioned as a mechanism to improve access to scientific information. Rapidly rising journal subscription costs in the sci-tech publishing world threaten to severely curtail access to the research literature. See Create Change for more information on open access.
PLoS Medicine is the second open access journal launched by PLoS. PLoS Biology entered circulation in October 2003.
- Heather Bryan, Veterinary Medical Library