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Occupational Therapy Resources: Life After Duke



The purpose of this module is to:

  • Give you an idea of the free clinical resources out there in the world
  • Direct you to services that can help you obtain articles
  • Suggest a few tools to help you keep current and collaborate with colleagues

Access After Graduating

The Bad News

Let's start with the bad news...

Duke graduates can use their NetID and email account for one year after graduation; however, you will not be able to download software or access the same journal articles or databases you can while you are a student.

The alumni office is offering a very limited set of resources. It won't be very helpful to you, but it's worth checking out as it is free.  

What does this mean for you?  
You will no longer have access to Duke University's journal and textbook subscriptions that you have been using to get full text articles.  You will have to have a plan for how to get your hands on copies.

Before you lose access to everything Duke offers, here are something you should do to prepare.

Things to Do Before You Leave:

Copy any documents stored on Duke drives & Duke emails.

Go through your saved citations: are there any you want to keep? Are there any you'd like the PDFs for? Do this before you leave so you can still get free full text!

Apply for an Alumni email address if you would still like a Duke email.

Evaluate your citation manager needs. If you are using Endnote, double-check that you have the most current version before you leave. This will last you for a few years, but then you'll have to purchase it again at some point, which will cost $250 – $300. But there are free options out there like Zotero that are totally worth exploring!

Free Library Resources

Free Resources: Through the Library

Just because you are leaving Duke doesn't mean that you can't use the library's homepage! We have also put together a guide of free resources to give you a starting place when navigating the real world.

On the webpage and guide, there will still be quite a few things you will be able to get to. For example, on the webpage, there are tip sheets and tutorials to help you use PubMed, CINAHL, and other resources under the "Use Databases" section of this webpage.

Our Alumni Services page may also be useful.


If you are going be in the area, you can still use the physical library as well. This also includes our computers, which will give you some full text access to articles through our databases.

Don't be shy to contact us with questions and to ask for advice on accessing resources.  We will do what we can to help!


Other Free Resources

While we have a full list of free resources here, these are some worth a special note:


1. PubMed Central (database for full-text articles)

PubMed as the database will always be freely available to you – you'll just be missing access to most full text. PubMed Central is a sub-section of PubMed that is guaranteed to have the full text! Same interface you know and love, and a promise to have the thing  you need. But buyer beware: not all of these articles are from peer-reviewed journals. Critical appraisal will be important.


2. EndnoteClick (web browser extension for full-text finding)

EndnoteClick (Formerly Kopernio) is an extension that you can add to your browser to help find some full text.  It will search for open access or other freely available options – it may also be able to sync with an institution's subscriptions and work with an Endnote subscription.


3. Zotero (free alternate citation manager)

If you leave Duke and don't want to pay $250-$300 to maintain an Endnote Subscription, check out Zotero! It is a free-to-use program that is user friendly and incorporates great into Word, Google Docs, and any internet browser you prefer. Contact the library if you would like help shifting your library from Endnote to Zotero.




Free Databases


In addition to PubMed Central that's listed above, there are a few other places you can go to find full-text articles. Try a couple of these to get familiar with them!


Focused Databases


This Database is great for...



OTSeeker is a free database that sometimes has full-texts of randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews. It is important to note that the website gathers their articles from other databases like PubMed and PEDro and has reduced their comprehensiveness since 2016.


(Physiotherapy Evidence Database)

PEDro is a free database that sometimes has full-texts of randomized controlled trials, systematic reviews, and clinical practice guidelines in physiotherapy. They also give trials (not SRs or guidelines) a 1-10 rating based upon validity!



This database provides great overview, textbook-like information on many different topics. All the information is evidence-based. Please note that you will need to create a free account to gain full access.


Medline Plus

Think of this website like a better, evidence-based version of WebMD. It has a lot of great overview information as well as resources to provide patients and other healthcare consumers.



(Directory of Open Access Journals)

DOAJ has free full text for a variety of vetted open access journals that cover many subjects and languages.


More Access through AOTA Membership

Perks of being an AOTA member


Being a member to AOTA gives you a number of databases and resources that provide full-text access. These include:

  • Access to the American Journal of Occupational Therapy and OT Practice Magazine
  • Access to the Wilma L. West Library, the world's largest occupational literature collection
  • Discounted access to OT Search, a database containing abstracts (and sometimes full texts) of OT research