IDEM - Informations- und Dokumentationsstelle Ethik in der Medizin
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Open Access

The supply with literature and information at higher education and research institutions has changed over the past ten yeas. The introduction of electronic publications and their storage and distribution have lead to new commercialization strategies, and - as a consequence - to new copy right regulations. The significant cost increases on the scientific publication market, which go hand in hand with this process, have convinced the research funding organizations to explore new avenues regarding their funding policy (publication costs can be reimbursed).

The Open Access Initiative (free access to publications) now offers researchers the possibility to retain the exploitation rights for their publications, and to grant access to their research results for a wider public through direct marketing.

Literature Sources for Medical Ethics


The German Institut of Medical Documentation and Information (DIMDI) offers a vaste number of medical databases, which are simultaneously searchable. The DIMDI preselection of databases for medical literature are:

The Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online covers worldwide literature on every area of medicine, including dental medicine, veterinary medicine, psychology, and public health. Producer is the National Library of Medicine, USA.

BIOSIS Previews:
covers literature in the field of biology, human and veterianry medicine, biochemistry, pharmacology, toxicology, and environmental sciences, especially from Nothern America nad Europe. Producer is Thomson Reuters, USA.

preliminary database of the EMBASE database. It contains the most current proofs of international literature with European focus on the total area of the human medicine and related fields which will be incorporated into EMBASE fully indexed a few weeks later.

EMBASE (Excerpta Medica Database) covers worldwide literature, especially from Europe, in the field of human medicine and related fields with special emphasis given to drug research, pharmacology, pharmacy, pharmacoeconomics, toxicology, basic biological research, health policy and management, public, occupational and environmental health, and substance dependence and abuse. Producer is Elsevier B. V., The Netherlands.

The gms (German Medical Science) database contains bibliographic data of medical research articles (75% with Abstract), linked with the corresponding free of charge full texts. Producer is German Medical Science gGmbH, Düsseldorf, Germany.

gms Meetings:
The GMS (German Medical Science) Meetings database contains bibliographic data linked with the corresponding abstracts or full texts. The database contains abstracts of scientific medical conferences. Producer is German Medical Science gGmbH, Düsseldorf, Germany.

SciSearch covers worldwide literature in the fields of science, technology, and medicine. The database contains all citations published in "Science Citation Index Expanded". Producer is Thomson Reuters, USA.

Open Access Sources

Europe PubMed Central (Europe PMC)

In December 2013, the European Commission published the Guidelines on Open Access to Scientific Publications and Research Data for the EU Research Framework Programme Horizon 2020. Under Horizon 2020, the publication of project results can be reimbursed as direct project costs. (PDF)

Europe PubMed Central (Europe PMC) offers free access to biomedical literature resources including:  PubMed abstracts (about 28 million),  Europe PMC full text articles (about 2.6 million, of which over 570,000 are Open Access), Patent abstracts (over 4 million European, US, and International), National Health, Service (NHS) clinical guidelines, Agricola records (500,000), Supplemented with Chinese Biological Abstracts

PLOS ONE and PLOS Medicine articlesis

PLoS ONE Journals with a broad spectrum of disciplines. PLoS Medicine is an Open Access journal in medicine.