Life sciences online just got bigger

The well-known site UK PubMed Central has just gone beta with an expansion, becoming the UK’s largest free life sciences resource.

This is great news for supporters of the Open Access movement.  The new interface was developed by the British Library.  The press release explains that the new platform will enable researchers to:

  • Conduct a full-text search of 1.7 million articles
  • Access abstracts for over 19 million articles
  • Exploit the scientific literature with innovative features which enrich abstracts and full-text articles by linking scientific terms to other sources of quality assured and useful information
  • Search content not included in traditional journal literature – including clinical guidelines as well as other hard to find material such as PhD theses

The platform offers two search templates – Simple which is just one text box and Advanced which has search boxes for Title(s), Author(s), MESH terms, Journal as well as a General Query (= free text) box.   You can also select from a couple of Preferences.  One is for how your results are displayed – by date or relevance and the other is for selecting what collections to search across, the options are quite helpful, such as  “All Clinical Trials” or “UK Theses” and  I reckon the “Reviews” option will be very handy for me.  Unfortunately you can’t choose more that one document type, but being beta, they are keen for our feedback.

Other nice features (there are more):

  • a journal index – it’s always useful to be able to see exactly what content there is, and this index also tells you how “open access” each journal is, plus there is a button beside each journal that you can click on if you’d like to search it.
  • a grant lookup tool.  You can search by a list of funding bodies and also by keyword, project title, institution and grant ID.

All in all, I think this site is a real asset for life science research and will be very well used.

(Finally, I’m really sorry, but I accidentally deleted a couple of kind comments left by visitors to this blog, which is why they don’t appear anywhere!   I did read them and very much appreciated your feedback.  Thank you and many apologies.)

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