Answered By: Gabe Gossett
Last Updated: May 17, 2016     Views: 73

There are some things you should consider, some free and one that requires special access. Washington State provides access to a very good set of databases through their HEAL-WA program. This is only open to eligible professions, listed here. If you are currently working in any of those professions, or end doing so within Washington State, then that is really an excellent resource to have access to.

Other resources you should consider:

  • PubMed is an open database for health related research (and is comparable to the subscription we provide to MEDLINE). While the PubMed index of articles is freely available it is important to keep in mind that the access to the full-text of the articles often is not. As a general rule of thumb the more recent articles will not be available but articles with certain types of federal funding are required to be made open access after an embargo period of typically one year.
  • If you are looking for sources that have more do with social work or educational programs and interventions then ERIC is the federal database you will want to use. You may have used our subscription versions through EBSCO or ProQuest. You can find the same sources indexed in the free version, though, like PubMed, there is less access to full-text sources.
  • Google Scholar can be a useful resource, though it can sometimes be a mess to use because it lacks focus by discipline and there is no way to use subject terms to focus a search—you basically have to guess at good search terms. It is especially useful when there is a specific article you are looking for. Searching for an article in regular Google and add .pdf to the end of the search can help too.
  • The last option to consider is that many public universities, and some private ones too, will allow you to use their computers on their campus at special public terminals in the library. This allows you access to their databases, while you are there, in most cases.