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Database Tips: PubMed Central  

Basic steps on using PubMed Central for finding scholarly articles
Last Updated: Jul 24, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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PubMed Scholarly Articles

Finding Scholarly Journal Articles in PubMed Central

PubMed Central is a FREE database complied by the National Institute of Health (NIH). (Our tax dollars at work!) Most articles are about life sciences, medical, and veterinary topics.  Focused on life sciences, health, medical, biomedical, veterinary and dentistry.  Does include some sociology and psychology journals.

  • - it only contains FULL TEXT articles (and a few articles that will be available in full text soon.)  Full text means you can read the entire article on your screen.
  • - a new federal law requires that authors must put a copy of their article into PUBMed Central within 12 months of publication if the study was funded by the NIH where it will be available to the public for free.  

1) Start at the Pierce College Library Article Databases page OR go directly to PubMed Central.

2) Enter search terms in the search box, click the blue "Search" box.


3) Click either the Full Text link to see a web page showing the entire article OR to see an image of the article as it looked in the printed journal use the PDF link. The number after the PDF shows the size of the file, not the number of pages.



It's also a good idea to search PubMed Central's much larger cousin, PubMed.

Pub Med contains abstracts (summaries) of almost every article published in the life sciences.  Some of these are available for free in FULL TEXT from the website of the journal that published the original article, but most are not.  You can check the Pierce College Periodical list to see if our library has the journal.  Click here for step by step directions.

To search PubMed

1) Start at the Pierce College Library Article Databases page OR go directly to PubMed.

2) Enter search terms in the search box and click the GO button.

3) You'll see a list of articles and an icon for each articles that signifies if it is an abstract or full text.  Hover your mouse over the icon an a small box will appear saying what type it is.  Abstracts are summaries only!



Having trouble accessing the database from home?  See Log Into Library Databases from Off Campus for help!


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