Open Access Databases

These open access databases are free resources that you can use as reference material for your studies.

General Multisubject Databases

Digital Public Library of America – The Digital Public Library of America collects econtent from libraries, museums, and archives throughout the United States. Other features include digital exhibitions on historical topics, primary source collections, and a genealogical collection. Users can browse by topic as well as by contributing institution.

HathiTrust – This digital collection is a result of the collaborative efforts of academic and research libraries throughout the world. Full text ebooks and documents can be read and downloaded for free.

The Internet Archive – “A non-profit library of millions of free ebooks, movies, software, music, websites, and more.”

New York Public Library Digital Collections – This site is a media-rich “living database with new materials added every day, featuring prints, photographs, maps, manuscripts, streaming video, and more.”

OCLC-WorldCat – WorldCat is the world’s largest network of library content and services. WorldCat libraries are dedicated to providing access to their resources on the Web, where most people start their search for information. lets you search the collections of libraries in your community and thousands more around the world. WorldCat grows every day, thanks to the efforts of librarians and other information professionals.

Academic Journals/Books

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) – DOAJ is a community-curated online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals.

Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) – DOAB is a community-curated online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed books.

Google Scholar – Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts, and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities, and other web sites. Google Scholar helps you find relevant work across the world of scholarly research.

Social Science Research Network – The SSRN eLibrary is an “open-access preprint community” where scholars in the social sciences share their abstracts and working papers before publishing them in peer reviewed journals.

Science and Medicine

BioMed Central – Provides a collection of free, open access, mostly peer-reviewed research articles from over 100 biomedical, medical, health, biology and biotechnology related online journals.

ChemSpider – “A free chemical structure database providing fast text and structure search access to over 100 million structures from hundreds of data sources.” – A registry and results database of publicly and privately supported clinical studies of human participants conducted around the world.

Cochrane Library – The Cochrane Library is a collection of databases that contain different types of high-quality, independent evidence to inform healthcare decision-making. A database on clinical trials is part of this collection.

Free Medical Journals – The Free Medical Journals Site was created to promote the free availability of full-text medical journals on the Internet.

MedlinePlus – Produced by the National Library of Medicine, the world’s largest medical library, it includes information about diseases, conditions, and wellness issues in language you can understand. MedlinePlus offers reliable, up-to-date health information, anytime, anywhere, for free.

Medscape – Medscape is “the leading online global destination for physicians and healthcare professionals worldwide, offering the latest medical news and expert perspectives, drug and disease information, and relevant professional education and CME.”

The Merck Index – “The most authoritative and reliable source of information on chemicals, drugs, and biologicals. Now, this trusted resource is available online from the Royal Society of Chemistry.”

PubMed – This database from the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health contains citations for health related and medical literature from journals and books. Journal citations include both MEDLINE and non-MEDLINE literature. Not all articles are available as full text, but links to the full text are provided when available. – “ searches over 60 databases and over 2200 scientific websites, to provide users with access to more than 200 million pages of authoritative federal science information including research and development results.”

World Wide Science – “A global science gateway comprised of national and international scientific databases and portals. WorldWideScience accelerates scientific discovery and progress by providing one-stop searching of databases from around the world.”


Abyz News Links – This site provides links to both international and American newspaper publications, including those from smaller cities and towns.

Useful Web Sites

Health-Related Statistical Data and Local Information

Cook County Department of Public Health – Includes information on conditions and diseases, as well as behavioral, environmental health, and emergency preparedness for Cook County, Illinois.

Health Department and Community Health Center Lake County, Illinois – Provides access to health resources and services in Lake County. Users can create a portal and make appointments from this site.

County Health Rankings –  A product of the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, this site ranks counties throughout the U.S. by health factors and outcomes, using recent data which reflects behavior, social and economic factors, as well as clinical data.

City Health Dashboard – Provides health snapshots of 750 major U.S. cities, using a wide range of factors, including behavior as well as social, and economic variables.

National Center for Health Statistics – Provides statistics organized by topic alphabetically for the United States.

General Medical Reference

Family Doctor – Sponsored by the American Academy of Family Physicians, this site provides information on diseases, conditions, prevention, and wellness. – Information from this site is from The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP), which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Information on nutrition, exercise, and health care is available from this site.

MLA Top Health Web Sites – This list of sites selected by the Medical Library Association, provides links to information on a variety of health topics, including cancer, diabetes, rare diseases, and other subjects.

Mayo Clinic – This site provides information on diseases and conditions, tests, procedures, as well as drugs and supplements.

Mental Health – This site is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and provides information and links to resources on all aspects of mental health, including eating disorders, suicide prevention, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Contact information is given for provider services.

Sites Addressing Needs of Specific Populations

American Academy of Pediatrics – A comprehensive site with health and safety information on children, from infants to young adults.

KidsHealth – This site provides doctor reviewed information for parents, children, teens, and educators.

Office on Women’s Health – Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, this site provides health and wellness information for women, including nutrition, mental health, pregnancy, and maternal care. Videos and webinars are included.

Office of Minority Health – This site is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and contains health and wellness information in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and Korean.

Indian Health Service – This U.S. government sponsored site provides health related information for Native Americans and Alaska Native peoples.

Veterans Health Administration – This comprehensive site includes information on services, benefits, locations, and research involving all aspects of health care for veterans.

Rural Health Information Hub – Funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, this site includes topics, program models, and statistics relevant to health care in rural areas of the United States. Summary information is provided for each of the fifty states.

Eldercare Locator – Users can find resources and services for the elderly by zip code.

National Institute on Aging – An agency of the National Institutes of Health, this is the federal agency responsible for research on aging and on improving the lives of the elderly, including research on Alzheimer’s Disease. Topics include cognitive and physical health, nutrition and exercise, and end of life care.

Diet and Nutrition

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics – This site provides diet and exercise recommendations from professional nutritionists for all segments of the population: children, adults, and the elderly.

Choose My Plate (USDA) – This site from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, includes information on the major food groups, as well as the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025.

Other Useful Sites

Complementary and Integrative Health – The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCAM) provides information on alternative health practices that are authoritative and that meet scientific standards. Research and clinical trial data are included.

American Hospital Directory – Hospital data and profiles are provided for hospitals throughout the United States. Comparative data organized by state are provided.

Evaluating Online Medical Information – This site from the Network of the National Library of Medicine, provides criteria to use when evaluating medical and health information found on the web. Links to additional resources are also provided.

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