Medical Journals on the Web, Part II

By Smith, Stephen E. | Information Today, December 1999 | Go to article overview

Medical Journals on the Web, Part II


Smith, Stephen E., Information Today


Here are several more indexes to medical literature online

Hundreds of medical journals have established some kind of presence on the Net. Most well-known print medical journals offer only tables of contents and abstracts online. A growing number, however, are providing access to the full text of current and archive issues to subscribers. A relative few provide access to full text of selected articles for nonsubscribers. Many electronic-only journals made attempts at success in the early years of the Web, but most of those are now defunct. Some of the ones that remain are certainly worth discovering.

But where can one find a listing of the journals with a presence on the Web? I haven't discovered a full and up-to-date resource that I can point you to. However, there are several sites that do part of the job, and together they represent launching points to some good browsing and searching. With this month's column I'll continue and complete the tour of Web sites with indexes to online medical journals that I began in my October column.

Medworld Research Corner

The Biomedical and Clinical Journals On-line (http://www.med.stanford.edu/medworld/research_journals.html) page on Stanford University's Medworld site lists 139 online journals. The list format is excellent, providing two descriptive annotations for each journal listing. There is a short text description of the site, and then a set of text flags indicating what is offered in terms of full text vs. abstracts, etc. It also is a reasonable listing of e-journals. (Most sites I've found point almost exclusively to print journals.)

Here's an interesting example to give an idea of the coverage and the format: For the journal Aesclepian Chronicles, it lists subject material ("complementary and allopathic medicine"), type of publication ("Fully on-line electronic journal dedicated to alternative healthcare"), and links for access options (Table of Contents, Full Text, Back Issues, Current Issue).

Unfortunately, Medworld's list is sadly untended. Its listing of Alzheimer's Disease Review anticipates publication of the first issue in Spring 1996. Following the link reveals that this journal indeed began in 1996 and continued to early 1999. Publication has slowed down evidently, with only one article published this year. But the articles looked like they reasonably address current topics in Alzheimer's research. The article from this year is "Estradiol: A Protective and Trophic Factor in the Brain."

While a number of the links are old and nonfunctional, there is still a lot to discover here. Experimental Biology Online looked promising, as online journals (without print parents) are typically free. This one was free at one time. Now it is published and owned by Springer and has reduced its offering to abstracts with full text for subscribers. Many article titles were intriguing. "Vampire Blood: Respiratory Physiology of the Vampire Squid" is definitely not everyday fare. Neither is a following article, whose title poses the question, "Do lizards breathe through their mouths while running?" I'm a fan of full text, but I read the abstract on this one.

The link to Herbal Gram, the Journal of the American Botanical Council, was disappointing; the Herbal Gram journal isn't offered online. However, there is a resource that could be worthwhile for those interested in herbs. Follow the Herb Reference Guide link to dosing, current usage, contraindications, side effects, and drug interactions for a couple dozen of the more commonly used herbals. This information is of growing value to clinicians because of the number of patients who take herbals but don't tell their physicians--and the physicians often don't have the resources to determine if an herb is safe to take with prescription drugs.

This guide reports that garlic can be used for age-dependent vascular changes, and notes that there is a potential interaction with warfarin and other anticoagulants--which are most commonly prescribed in elderly patients with peripheral vascular disease. …

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