Full text availability is one of the real added value features of CAB Abstracts and the Global Health database, but where and how to find the full text can still be confusing.
Here at CABI we do try hard to make the full text of any paper we abstract for the database(s) available to users by providing links (including DOIs where possible) and holding full text in our own permanent repository. Over the years we have been building a repository of full text material, mainly journals and conferences, which we host on our servers so that users can click through directly from the abstract straight to the full text pdf. The CABI repository currently contains over 85,000 full text papers from scientific journals and over 54,000 full text papers from conferences, plus the full text of a number of reports and single documents. If you search CAB Abstracts or Global Health on our own platform (CAB Direct), all papers held in the CABI Full Text repository have a clearly visible “View Full Text” button. The CABI Full Text repository is also available to searchers using other platforms (e.g. OvidSP).
We created the CABI repository so that we could offer permanent, unbroken links to full text papers from journals and conferences which for some reason or other are not available online or are difficult to find – some papers, for instance, are available in print only, and some are available online but the links change or websites disappear over time. The initial concept was to provide a win-win situation for authors and users – authors knew that their papers would be more widely disseminated and read if they were accessible through our widely used database, and users would be able to click straight through to the full text. Our aim was to improve access to papers which were ‘difficult-to-find’ i.e. those which were not easily accessible through open access systems or from mainstream sources with a strong web presence.
Once you’ve done your search, here are some suggestions for subscribers on how to access the full text paper or document from an abstract or bibliographic record on the CAB Direct platform (this is generally applicable to CAB Abstracts/Global Health on any platform):
(1) If the abstract has a “View Full Text” button, this is a link to the paper in the CABI Full Text repository (for advanced users, sc:ft in the search box will pick up all records with a full text document in the CABI repository).
(2) If a url is provided on the database record, click on this to go to the publisher or society website. If your institution has a subscription to the journal, you should have access to the full text. If not, you’ll still find that some of these documents may be open access. Some publishers make all their papers open access, others make special issues open access, sometimes within the same issue of a journal some of the papers will be open access and some not. Others apply an embargo, so that papers published before a certain date become open access. All these models change frequently and the only certain way of knowing whether the full text is available (either open access or paid for) is to try the website.
(3) If the abstract record has a DOI this is even better. The DOI (Digital Object Identifier) is a unique identifier for that paper. Clicking on the DOI will take you straight to the exact document. Try copying the DOI into your Google search box to see if the paper has been deposited in an institutional or other repository.
(4) Or you can contact the author directly – most recent records have email contacts.
Finally, if you are a conference organizer, editor or society and wish to see your papers held in our repository so they are easily accessible to a worldwide audience of subscribers, please contact our Full Text Coordinator.