The library staff invite our alumni to continue to make use of aspects of the library's services and resources.
Library Services for alumni include:
- Resource Requests/Interlibrary Loan
- Reference help, e.g. How can I find articles on a certain topic?
- On campus printing/photocopying/scanning
Library Resources for alumni include:
- Guest access to Search USA, the library's search engine. Note that Guest access allows you to search, but not to access content. For a more robust searching experience, we recommend PubMed. See also the Free Databases tab.
- Guest access to the Library Catalog, which is an inventory of the physical materials available from the campus libraries.
- Use of the physical library spaces on campus, including computer labs
- Use of physical library materials (e.g. books, bone models) within the library
Read the USAHS Policy on Alumni and Guest Library Use for full details. Or contact us with any questions: email@example.com.
The following is a list of databases that are free and open to search. This does not mean that access to the articles in full text is included, except in cases where the full text is open access.
Digital Commons Network: Medicine and Health Sciences
Digital Commons Network: Education
ERIC (Education Resources Information Center)
PubMed is our number one recommended free database. To learn more:
Open access means that the full text content is available freely online for anyone who wants to access it.
There are various models of open access: some journals are entirely open, and others are just partially open. There is even something called "green open access", also called self-archiving. This means that individual authors publicly and freely share their copies of articles. See What is an "author manuscript"?
Any full text article you can access online without logging in through a library or paying a fee is an open access article.
Check out our Open Access Guide to learn more.
An "author manuscript" or "accepted manuscript" version of a published article is a post-peer review, pre-publication copy. Typically there are few changes between the author manuscript copy and the final published version and those changes are mostly in formatting, not content. Author manuscript versions are more readily available through open access sources because article authors own the copyrights to their manuscript copy and can share and post it wherever they like, in most cases. Article authors often do not own copyrights to the final published version of the article.
Authors post their manuscript copies:
- on PubMed Central (PMC)
- in institutional repositories, such as those within the Digital Commons Network
- on ResearchGate, or other similar scholarly communities
You can generally find author manuscript copies of articles through a Google Scholar search for the article title. Look to the right of the entry in the results list to see if there is a [PDF] or [HTML] link. In most cases, clicking on the title of the article in the Google Scholar results list will not take you to an open access copy, but clicking on the link to the right of the entry will.
The free tools listed here are designed especially for EBP, which means they focus on the highest quality, filtered evidence, with push notifications available.
When a full text article you need is not freely available through PubMed, Google Scholar is also a good source for open access copies of articles.
When open access copies are not available, contact the library for full text access. Email a list of article citations to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will email you the full text articles within three business days. Be sure to mention that you are an alum.
This is a free service, except in certain rare cases when the library pays a fee to access an article you need. Those fees range from $11-$15, and a library staff member will contact you to confirm if an article you request is a fee-based article.
Are you a member of a professional organization? Become familiar with what EBP and research resources they offer their members.
American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) membership includes access to:
- The Guide to Physical Therapist Practice
- a subscription to Physical Therapy, with online access
- PT Now, which includes major subscription databases like EBSCO's Rehabilitation Reference Center and Cochrane Reviews
- and more - contact member services for a full overview
American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) membership includes access to:
- a subscription to the American Journal of Occupational Therapy, including special issues
- online access to the British Journal of Occupational Therapy and the Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy
- AOTA Critically-Appraised Topics
- a customized electronic newsletter through OT Practice Pulse
- and more - contact member services for a full overview
Other professional organizations have similar benefits. Contact your organization to ask about EBP and research resources they provide.
Depending on where you are working, you may have access to full text evidence through your employer. Most hospitals and many large clinics provide databases or other kinds of online evidence to their employees through medical libraries. Some even employ librarians. You may want to check with your HR department (or another knowledgeable source) to see if there are any such resources at your place of employment. If not, you might ask whether your employer will monetarily support your efforts to acquire evidence in the form of journal articles. They may give you a certain stipend to purchase journal articles that are not available for free. Of course, if you work for a university or college, you should have full access to the library there.