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Resources for Alumni and Unaffiliated Health Providers: Overview

General Library Services

Library resources and services may be available the following sources:

Your employer: They might have an agreement with a local hospital, college, or library to provide services. 

Local universities and colleges: Some university/college libraries grant limited access to print and/or electronic resources to clinicians affiliated with certain hospitals or based in a specific geographical area.  You may also be able to access resources while physically on campus using guest Wi-Fi or via computers located in the library.

Local public library: Most public libraries offer remote access for their patrons. Visit your local library or its website for more information on how to access their resources. Some also provide limited interlibrary loan services for books.If you are in the Pima County, visit Pima County Library.

Professional societies: Some professional societies offer benefits such as journal subscriptions or access to continuing education (e.g., CME) courses or resources. Check with your society to see what benefits it offers.

Reference Management Software

Reference Management software helps organize articles and prepare citations for publication.

There are several free reference managers available.

Just need a formatted citation?

  • Use the "Cite" button in PubMed, copy citation.

Getting articles

Finding high quality research articles is important throughout your career, but you may not have access to paid databases like Ovid, Embase, or CINAHL after you graduate.

To find the full text of articles, you may need to do a little detective work.


  • You can still search Medline, the premier biomedical and life sciences database, through PubMed.
  • To find the full text of articles in PubMed, look for links to PubMed Central or publisher links that say Free or Open Access.
  • Sometimes the publisher link will not say free, but the article may be free, as more content has been moving to Open Access. Some journals make all content free after a period of time (1 year). Try clicking on publisher links to see if you can access the article.

PubMed Central

  • Free full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature, including articles reporting the results of NIH-funded research. You can search PubMed Central directly, but it is not comprehensive and not all content is peer-reviewed.

DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals)

  • Search articles from over 18,000 journals across all disciplines, or search for a journal of interest to see if it is Open Access. This content is not limited to biomedical literature.


  • A browser extension that can locate legally free versions of articles that may be behind a paywall on the publisher's website. Note: most often, these are author manuscripts and pre-prints that have been uploaded to an institutional or open access repository.


  • Preprint server for the health science. Preprints have not been peer-reviewed, but they can be a valuable resource for timely information on hot topics.

Google Scholar

  • Scholar searches across many sources of academic literature across all disciplines, making it a good, free alternative to commercial databases like Scopus or Web of Science. The full text of content indexed in Google Scholar may be free or behind a paywall.


  • Full-text database of education research sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences within the U.S. Department of Education. Includes research on medical education and health literacy.

Medical Images

Just because an image is on the web does not mean you can use it freely. Some images can be used with attribution for education; others cannot be used at all, but someone has put it up illegally. Below are some resources that provide public domain or Creative Commons licensed medical images.

HSL Library Access

The Health Sciences Library is open to the general public during normal business hours. For more information and to apply for a library card, see Library card for community.

UA Retiree Library Benefits: UA retirees have Library borrowing privileges, free access to document delivery/interlibrary loan services, and on-campus access to licensed digital materials (see policy). As of 2023, retirees no longer have remote access to licensed digital materials through UA Libraries.

For more information on general library resources and benefits, see the UA Main Library For Alumni & Visitors page.

Free eBooks