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How to retrieve full-text scientific articles?

On VHL many full-text documents are open access. For documents which do not have full-text available, one option is requesting a document delivery from BIREME -SCAD - Cooperative Service for Document Access (temporarily out of service) or look for other options available on the results of a search.

Texto completo en.jpg

  • Select the document of interest at the search results page, click on "full text" option, if available. The documents may be presented in full-text mode. A password may be required in some cases.


  • Click on "PubMed More Resouces", for Medline documents, where is possible to access or request a copy of a full text.

How can I access scientific journals for free?

On SciELO- The Scientific Library Online - offers free access to full-texts from periodicals from various areas of knowledge. Other portals also offer this access, for example CAPES - Periodicals Portal - which allows free access to most public universities, some private universities as well as educational and research insitutions, in Brazil. Refer to your institution regarding this type of access. At VHL you can check the access of the journals at Portal of Journals on Health Sciences.

Is it necessary to be at BIREME to use its services? What are BIREME opening hours?

It is not necessary to go to BIREME to have access VHL . VHL is a virtual library and can be accessed 24 hours a day. BIREME does not offer physical attendance there.

If you have any questions about how to search in VHL, BIREME can provide support to your search through its online service:, or by phone: (+55 011) 5576-9800.

How can I obtain a physical attendance?

UNIFESP Central Library performs a physical attendance from Mondays to Fridays, from 8am to 8 pm and on Saturdays from 8am to 1pm. It is also possible to obtain help by phone: (+55 011) 5539-6312 / 5576-4562.

Do I have to register myself to access VHL?

VHL access is free and it is not necessary to register.

Is it possible to obtain medical advice through VHL services?

VHL aims to provide access to technical and scientific information. So, it does not offer medical advice to users. For counseling on diagnosis, therapy or procedures, we suggest that you consult a specialist to answer your questions.

You can get general health information on Medline Plus (, both in English and Spanish. Remember that any information from internet or other source does not replace an appointment with a physician.

Does BIREME service offer bibliographic search or search by demand?

Currently in BIREME we do not offer bibliographic search, but we can guide you by e-mail to use searching resources offered for free at VHL. For bibliographic search, BIREME suggests a local contact in the nearest specialized library in the area of your interest.

Does BIREME offer article translation service ?

No, BIREME doesn’t offer this service.

What are the advantages of using VHL to access the MEDLINE database?

The advantage of accessing MEDLINE via VHL search is the ability to retrieve scientific articles using search terms in Portuguese or Spanish.

If I write a search term in Spanish, will it result only in articles in Spanish?

No. The search is done on various document fields (title, abstract, subject descriptor) and it can retrieve text in any other language besides Spanish.

Must the search in MEDLINE via VHL be in English?

Most of MEDLINE documents are in English. If you are searching for meaningful words, the resultwill be more efficient if you write the words in English. But, if you are searching by subject descriptors, you can write them in Portuguese, Spanish or English that the result will show articles published in several languages, including English.

Can I export the search result?

After doing a search, check the page of results for the bullet “Send results”. Select the references of interest and choose how you want to send them:

  • by e-mail
  • by print form
  • Export citations in RIS format (for Reference Manager, ProCite, EndNote, etc)
    • How to import the search results to Endnote web? Access [[1]]
    • How to import the search results to Endnote desktop?

Instructions for version X5 and up:

  1. Download sources normally, as .txt
  2. File>Import>Import File
  3. Choose file
  4. Set “Import Options” to RIS
  5. Optional: choose Remove Duplicates
  6. Choose “Import”
  7. Once imported, select all sources
  8. Click “References” from the top menu bar
  9. Select “Find Resource Updates” which should update sources linked to Medline, PubMed, EBSCO, and others as EndNote adds databases

NOTE: The sources did not import the Years into the correct place, and I had to manually enter them

How can I search on Virtual Health Library (VHL)?

Access the VHL Search_tutorial