EzineArticles is a website that accepts unpaid submissions from authors, in exchange for links to the authors' websites and visibility for their work. The site also allows web and Ezine publishers to freely republish articles from the site, subject to certain conditions. Editorial oversight, based on simple editorial guidelines, occurs as submissions are screened by human editors who work for the company. In December 2013, Alexa ranked the site 646 globally and 129 in India.
EzineArticles was among the hardest hit websites by Google's major algorithm update in 2011, which hit all article directories. The site responded by becoming more selective, reducing submissions by 10%, reducing the amount of advertisements displayed on each page, and raising their minimum word count. The site considered adding nofollow tags to all links, but abandoned this idea after objections from users.
On September 11, 2014, EzineArticles changed all their links from "do follow" to "nofollow". In an announcement made on the company's blog, the team cited their decision to change all links nofollow as an experiment to see how it will affect their site's traffic.
One digital marketing reviewer wrote that EzineArticles, along with "other article directories have become synonymous with low-quality content" because they "let almost anyone post" and "they don’t properly compensate writers."
References form the backbone of any medical literature. Presently, because of high inflation, it is very difficult for any library/organization/college to purchase all journals. The condition is even worse for an individual person, such as private practitioners. The solution lies in the free availability of full-text articles. Here, the authors share their experiences about the accessibility of free full-text articles.
Keywords: Free full-text article, research work, access
Presently, in India nearly 314 medical colleges are providing undergraduate medical education in the form of MBBS, 163 colleges are providing doctor of medicine in diploma in Dermatology,Venereology and Leprosy (DVL), and 84 colleges are providing diploma in DVL.[1–3] In addition to this, 27 hospitals are providing diplomate of national board in diploma in Venereology and Dermatology. On comparing this data with number of research articles published, the latter stands in a mediocre situation. One of the important cause responsible for the relatively less number of research publication is unavailability of free full-text articles. Research works, published by most of the journals, are paid. Many of the undergraduates or postgraduate students may not be able to purchase these high-cost journals or articles. In addition to this, many researchers may not be willing to spend money on journals. These are some of the situations where free full-text articles come for rescue, but many of the beginners may not be familiar about how to search these articles. In addition, free full-text articles are the first choice for many of the postgraduate students for their dissertation.
In addition to journals which are fully Open Access, there are few other journals which operate through subscriptions as mainstream journals do, but which offer open access to the electronic versions of their articles after a delay of usually a year, or selectively for individual articles, provided the authors have paid an additional charge to “open up” the articles.
Free full-text articles can be approached in the following ways.
Medknow Publications publish nearly 150 journals. They provide free access to the electronic editions of their journals. Researchers just have to open the site www.medknow.com, fill the key word they require, and search. Alternatively, they can visit the search option, available in most of their journals site through www.journalonweb.com, fill the key word, and search across multiple journals. At times, this site alone provides sufficient number of references required for the purpose. The important dermatological journals published by Medknow Publications are Indian Dermatology Online Journal, Indian Journal of Dermatology, Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology, Indian Journal of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and AIDS, International Journal of Trichology, and Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery.
PubMed Central and PubMed
PubMed Central is the United States National Library of Medicine's digital archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature which provides free access to the full text of articles. To search for free full-text articles on PubMed Central, one has to visit the site http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/, write the topic/author/journal title, and search across all articles.
PubMed is a database of citations and abstracts for articles from thousands of journals. PubMed does not include full-text journal articles. It includes links to full-text articles at many journal web sites as well as to most of the articles in PubMed Central. Here, articles can be searched on the site http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed. Search can be restricted to contents free on web by using filter your results and clicking free full text.
Directory of Open Access Journals
The directory aims to cover all open access scientific and scholarly journals that use a quality control system to guarantee the content. It provides articles from 439 medicinal journals. Among them, 21 are from dermatology. It includes Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia, BMC Dermatology, Case Reports in Dermatology, Clinical Dermatology, Clinical Medicine Insights: Dermatology, Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, Dermatología Peruana, Dermatology Online Journal,th Dermatology Reports, Dermatology Research and Practice, Egyptian Dermatology Online Journal, Indian Journal of Dermatology, Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology, The Internet Journal of Dermatology, Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dermatology Research, Journal of the Egyptian Women's Dermatologic Society, Open Dermatology Journal, Revista Argentina de Dermatología, Surgical and Cosmetic Dermatology, Turk Dermatoloji Dergisi, Turkderm. The disadvantage of directory of open access journals is that few of these journals are in languages other than English. Here, articles can be searched on the site http://www.doaj.org.
Electronic Resources in Medicine Consortium and National Medical Library
Electronic Resources in Medicine Consortium (ERMED) and National Medical Library (NML) are an excellent platform for obtaining free of cost recent journal articles for its member colleges. There is no membership fees charged from the Government Medical Colleges and institutions. The private colleges and institutions have to make payment per site price for e-sources purchased by the consortium in every calendar year. Membership of the college can be checked from the site http://www.nmlermed.in/members.htm or volunteers can contact their library to check the membership and to get the user name and password of the site www.ermed.jccc.in allotted to their college. In 2009, the number of ERMED members increased from 40 to 72 Government Medical Colleges/Institutes across the country. At present, it covers nearly 32 journals of dermatology. It includes Acta Dermatoveneorologica Alpina, Pannonica et Adriatica, Acta Dermatovenerologica Croatica, Advances in Skin and Wound Care, American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, American Journal of Dermatopathology, Archives of Dermatological Research, Archives of Dermatology,, Asian Journal of Dermatology, BMC Dermatology, Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, Clinical Dermatology, Contact Dermatitis, Dermatologic Surgery, Dermatology, Dermatology Nursing, Dermatology Online Journal, Dermatology Times, Indian Journal of Dermatology, Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology, International Journal of Dermatology, Internet Journal of Dermatology, Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, Journal of Investigative Dermatology, Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, Medicine, Open Dermatology Journal, Pediatric Dermatology, Rosacea Review, Skin and Allergy News, Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, Turkdem-Archives of the Turkish Dermatology and Venerology and Turkish Journal of Dermatology.
Journal articles related to the topic can be searched easily after signing in at the site www.ermed.jccc.in, followed by clicking search database.
Google, Google Scholar, and Yahoo
Google (http://www.google.com) and Yahoo search (http://www.search.yahoo.com) are two of the world's most hit web pages and two largest web-based search engines. Usually these are the first search site for any scholar. They provide links for both paid and free articles. The disadvantage associated with these sites is that additionally they provide materials that may not give scholarly information. Many articles are repeated also. But the catch is that one article which is paid at one web link may be free at another web link. Google Scholar (http://www.scholar.google.com) provides a simple way to broadly search for the relevant scholarly literature and research.
Public library of science is a nonprofit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource. Everything published on this site is freely available throughout the world, for researchers to read, download, copy, distribute, and use. Articles can be searched here on the site http://www.plos.org/search.php.
Free Medical Journals
Currently, total 2226 journals are available on this site. Among them, nearly 30 are journals are related to dermatology and venereology and most of them are in English. Some journals are available only a few months after the release. Journals can be searched on the site http://www.freemedicaljournals.com/fmj/DERMA.HTM.
It covers more than 125 medical journals and textbooks. After a simple, free registration, Medscape automatically delivers you the specialty site that best fits your profile. After signing in at www.medscape.com, articles can be searched.
HighWire Press Stanford University
HighWire Press partners with independent scholarly publishers, societies, associations, and university presses to facilitate the digital dissemination of 1465 journals, reference works, books, and proceedings. Articles can be searched on the site http://highwire.stanford.edu/. It provides both free and paid articles.
Bioline International provides open access to peer reviewed bioscience journals published in developing countries. Articles can be searched on the site http://www.bioline.org.br.
Indmed covers about 77 journals indexed from 1985 onwards. A portal medIND provides free full text access to 40 Indian medical journals. Articles can be searched on the site http://medind.nic.in.
BioMed Central is a Science, Technology, and Medicine publisher. All original research articles published by BioMed Central are made free and permanently accessible online immediately upon publication. After free registration, journals can be searched over http://www.biomedcentral.com/browse/journals/.
Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and Research
Important dermatology journals in English included in this site are Acta Dermato-Venereologica, Acta Dermatovenerologica Alpina, Pannonica et Adriatica, Annals of Dermatology, Archives of Dermatology, Asian Journal of Dermatology, BMC Dermatology, Case Reports in Dermatology, Clinical Medicine Insights: Dermatology, Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, Dermato-Endocrinology, Dermatology Online Journal, Dermatology Reports, Dermatology Research and Practice, Dermatology Times, European Journal of Dermatology, Indian Journal of Dermatology, Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology, International Journal of Trichology, Internet Journal of Dermatology, Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dermatology Research, Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, Journal of Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, Journal of Investigative Dermatology, Journal of Skin Cancer, Journal of the Egyptian Women's Dermatologic Society, Leprosy Review, Open Dermatology Journal, Rosacea Review, Skin Therapy Letter, World Wide Wounds. Journals can be seen on the site http://www.gfmer.ch/Medical_journals/Dermatology.htm.
UK PubMed Central (UKPMC) is a full-text article database that extends the functionality of the original PubMed Central (PMC) repository. UKPMC (http://ukpmc.ac.uk) has undergone considerable development since its inception in 2007 and now includes both a UKPMC and PubMed search, as well as access to other records such as Agricola, Patents, and recent biomedical theses. UKPMC also differs from PubMed/PMC in that the full text and abstract information can be searched in an integrated manner from one input box. All of the articles in UKPMC are “Free Access,” Not all content available in PMC is made available to UKPMC.
National library of medicine (NLM) is a user-friendly web-based system that searches not only MEDLINE but also several other NLM databases at the same time. Articles can be searched here on http://gateway.nlm.nih.gov/gw/Cmd.
Medical Matrix (http://www.medmatrix.org) is a comprehensive guide to clinical medicine resources on the Internet. Medical Matrix links to more than ten MEDLINE sites, including Gateway and PubMed and fee and open access sites.
Some low income and low middle income countries are entitled to free access of this site. For other countries, all the articles are not free. Journals can be searched here at site http://group.bmj.com/products/journals/. This site includes Journal of Sexually Transmitted Infections.
British medical journal (BMJ) Open is an online-only, open access general medical journal, publishing medical research from all disciplines and therapeutic areas. The journal publishes all research study types, from study protocols to phase I trials to meta-analyses. Articles can be searched at http://bmjopen.bmj.com/.
Free full-text articles play a pivotal role in updating the knowledge of physicians and researchers. They play important role in preparation of any manuscript or thesis, for the persons who cannot subscribe to these articles due to any reason. Authors believe that these articles will be useful for such persons. Authors request the readers to contribute any other link for free full-text articles they know.
31. McEntyre JR, Ananiadou S, Andrews S, Black WJ, Boulderstone R, Buttery P, et al. UKPMC: A full text article resource for the life sciences. Nucleic Acids Res. 2011;39:D58–65. (Database issue) [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Google Scholar]