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Writing in BIOSC 1540 - Oakland Campus

This guide is intended to assist students in the Computational Biology course, BIOSC 1540, with the research and writing for their project.

From PubMed Results

Full text articles that have been deposited in PubMed Central are identified in the PubMed results list with the phrase Free PMC Article. Other documents that are freely available from other sources may also be labeled as Free Article, Free Full Text Article, or Free Books & Documents. Click on any of these phrases or the title of the article to view the full PubMed record where you will find a link to the full text.

From PubMed Full Records


Check these locations when viewing a full record in PubMed for links to the full text:

  • Beneath the abstract - phrases such as Free PMC Article, Free Full Text, PDF, or PubReader will link to the full document
  • At the top right corner - there may be one or more icons linking out to sources for the article
  • On the lower left, below the article information -  click on LinkOut - more resources to see a list of web sites with access to the full text


A sample list of full text sources from LinkOut. The label Author Manuscript indicates that the document is the final author's version that was accepted for publication. It is not an image of the document as it appeared when published in the journal.

Remember that whenever you click on any of the links to the full text in the record, you are leaving the PubMed web site. If access to the article requires a subscription, you will only be able to see it if Pitt has a subscription and you are logged in so the system can recognize you as a current Pitt user. Check If You're Searching From Off-Campus for information on how the ULS uses E-ZProxy to address this situation.


If There's No Link in PubMed

If there's no link to the full text of an article from its full record in PubMed, or the link isn't working, check here to see if the library owns the article:

  • E-journals list  (from the tab on the main ULS web page)
    • Enter the title of the journal to see if the year you need is available online.
  • Full Text Finder
    • Enter as much information as you have from the reference to see if it can be matched to an online source.
  • PITTCat+
    • Enter the title of the journal to find out if the library has a print or electronic version. Records for print journals show what years are available and where. Records for electronic journals link to the web page for the journal.

    • Alternatively, search for the article itself to see whether the full text is linked to its record.

If You're Searching From Off-Campus

Most electronic journals, databases, and e-books the ULS provides access to are subscription based. To access them you must be logged in so that the system recognizes you as a current valid Pitt user. PubMed is one of the few exceptions because it is a web resource made freely available to everyone to search.

However, when linking to the full text of articles from PubMed records, you are leaving PubMed and going to publisher and other web sites that may require authentication.

If you've logged into a library computer, a university computing lab computer, or the Pitt wi-fi network, or if you are using a computer that is hard-wired to the Pitt network, you have already been authenticated as a Pitt user and should be able to get the full text of an item the ULS subscribes to by clicking on the relevant link.

If you are searching from off-campus and are not already connected to the Pitt network, you will need to be authenticated through the E-ZProxy system. It's a good idea to bookmark the ULS web site and use it as your starting point for accessing databases and electronic journals. Then when you click on a link to a resource that requires authentication, you'll see an E-ZProxy box open up, and you'll be prompted to log in with your Pitt computer username and password.

If you just bookmark or Google the database, you won't be prompted to log in when you click on a resource that requires authentication. You'll be blocked or asked to pay or to log in with your personal account. Your Pitt login will not be recognized by the publishers or vendor, though.

For more information on how the ULS uses E-ZProxy for authentication and how you can be sure your computer will work with it, check the Logging in From Off-Campus page of the ULS web site.

If It's Not In Langley Library and Not Online

If we do not have the particular journal article you need in our collection, you can get a copy from another campus or local, national, or worldwide library through our free interlibrary loan services.

  • Get It!
    • Use this to request a copy of an article from storage or from a branch campus.
    • Find the journal record in PITTCat, click on the Get It! symbol in the catalog record, log in with your University Computing Account (email) username and password, and fill out the form.
    • Also, use this to request that books from any ULS library, including branch campuses (not Law or HSLS), be delivered to another ULS library.
  • Interlibrary Loan (ILL)
    • Use this to request a copy of an article that is not available anywhere in the ULS. Log in with your University Computing Account (email) username and password.
    • You will need to register the first time you make a request.
    • After logging in choose the type of document you want to request from the list on the left and fill out the form.
    • Also, use this to request books, microfilms, dissertations, etc. that are not available in the ULS.

If you need to request a book that is not available in the ULS, try checking E-ZBorrow first. It's the fastest way to get a book from outside the ULS, but it's for books only, not journal articles or other items. You will need your Pitt ID number (starts with 2P) to use E-ZBorrow.