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Nursing: Information Resources for Practitioners: Accessing Full-Text Articles

Are you a registered nurse or advanced practice nurse who doesn't have access to journals and databases from a health sciences or medical library? This guide is a collection of freely available online resources that do not require a subscription.

Tips for Accessing Full-text Articles


When searching PubMed, look for icons that indicate free full-text is available for the article.

Citations to articles available via PubMed Central, free full-text archive, will include this icon:

Many records in PubMed will include an icon from the publisher. Sometimes this icon will indicate free, full-text.

If the record includes an icon, always click on the icon to see if full-text is available. In this example, the full-text article is available at the publisher's site, even though there is no indication in PubMed. Click on the icon or the DOI (digital object identifier to access the article at the publisher's site: The article has an "open access" icon, 


Install a free extension,,  in your Chrome or Firefox browser. If free, full-text is available, the "green" unlocked padlock icon will appear. This tool may not be 100% accurate in identifying articles that are freely available, but it is another visual cue that an article is available. 

If you find an article at the publisher's site and full-text is available, you will also see the icon. For example, is freely available. 

Google Scholar

Another source for finding full-text is Google Scholar. Look for PDF or HTML links to the right of the citation.

Other Options

  • The McGoogan Library of Medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center offers an interlibrary loan service to the following: "All UNMC affiliates may request items. These affiliates include UNMC students, faculty, and staff, employees and private practice physicians of Nebraska Medicine and Children's Hospital Omaha, visiting students and faculty to UNMC, and UNMC alumni. Nebraska health professionals, lawyers, and residents, as well as Western Iowa professionals and residents may also request items." Note: This is a fee-based service. Refer to the above link for more information about this service.