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One Health Study

PDF Finding Tools

Simplify your information retrieval by downloading helper software to easily find PDFs.

Especially recommended:

  • Google Scholar Button
  • LibKey Nomad
  • EZProxy Bookmark
  • Global Protect VPN

Installation instructions here; don't forget to identify the University of Pennsylvania as your library for each.

Managing your results

For complex searches, it's useful to keep a simple search journal (Google Doc or desktop Note) including a textword search for scoping searches in different databases, notes of databases you searched and a concept table - a grid of subject headings and textwords for different databases.

Try to process results at a consistent level of concentration.  Skim preliminary results, noting useful articles and using the database's temporary save feature to set these aside for deeper scrutiny (PubMed Clipboard, Folder or Lists in other databases).  

After trying a few scoping searches, analyze the articles set aside.  What subject headings or textword phrases are common in the most relevant?  Add these to your concept grid for future searching.  Use the database's Similar Articles feature to find additional relevant articles that weren't in your initial search and identify the subject headings and textwords in these.  

For complicated searches you can save search strategies in the database.  As you find additional terms you can edit the search to include these, using the NOT operator to see what new articles are in the results.  With most saved searches, you can set up an alert so that newly published articles will come to your attention without your having to repeat the search.

Use citation management software to save results from multiple sources; different databases, webpages, PDFs.  More information on the subguide.   The software integrates with word processors to format citations inline and in the reference section.

Finding Full Text

  • In Penn Libraries' databases, look for the PennText link or button. Click the PennText link to open a page with options for obtaining the full-text of the resource. This screen shows a PubMed search, but other databases work in a similar manner.

  • Look for online availability.

  • Read article online or download PDF. Different publishers will have the PDF button in different locations.

  • If you are sent to the journal homepage, rather than the article, either search the title of the article or navigate using the issue dates to get to the article.

  • If article is not available online, you will see a screen similar to the one below. Click on the "Sign in" icon.

  • Login with your Penn credentials (you may be prompted to login twice).


  • The screen options you see will depend on your logon credentials and what you are searching for.
  • If available, choose FacultyExpress
  • If FacultyExpress is not available, choose Interlibrary Loan.
  • If Interlibrary Loan is not available, choose Scan & Deliver (will need to manually add article title)

  • Check that your email address is correct and all citation fields are populated and then submit your request.


  • A screen message will note that your request has been submitted and you should also receive an email confirmation.


Use the PubMed Clipboard to gather relevant citations during your preliminary search for further examination and processing.  Items in search results will be identified as already on your clipboard as you pursue similar articles or try new searches.

All health science students and practitioners would benefit from a MyNCBI account to save six months of search results, store search strategies, save and share collections of articles, be alerted of new articles on a topic and customize the interface.


For links to full-text articles from PubMed, connect to PubMedPlus on various Penn Libraries' webpages.

Alternatively, when viewing a PubMed abstract, add ?otool=upennlib to the web address to show the PennText link. For example:

To see PennText links no matter how you access PubMed, set up a MyNCBI account designating Penn's Outside Tool on your personal computer:

  1. In the upper right corner of PubMed's main search page, click on Sign Into MyNCBI. (Register with your PennKey from the link "See more 3rd party sign in options" or create a new account and sign in.)
  2. Click on MyNCBI, then NCBI Site Preferences.
  3. Under PubMed Preferences, click on Outside Tool.
  4. Browse through the list of institutions (or use your browser's Find function to search) and select University of Pennsylvania Library.
  5. Click the gray Save button at the top or bottom of the page.
  6. Sign out, then on the NCBI Sign In page, check the box next to Keep me signed in and sign in.  Now however you get to PubMed from that browser, you'll see the PennText links in the abstract display of your PubMed search results.

You can also use MyNCBI to customize PubMed, save searches, save and share collections of citations, see several months of your searching history and manage your NIH bibliography.

Recommended custom filters: medline[sb] for citations with MeSH terms to quickly identify useful terms from search results.  For veterinarians, veterinary[sb] for animal-related articles and/or species-specific:  dogs[mesh] or cats[mesh], horses[mesh] to quickly find articles relevant to your patients. 

A brief video tutorial is also available.