Freely accessible e-resources

Freely accessible e-resources for academia and research

For many researchers, working conditions have become more difficult due to protective measures against the coronavirus. For this reason, various scientific publishers are making their content freely available these days. We are happy to give you an overview of the various electronic resources that are generally attractive for academia and research on the one hand, and that deal specifically with research on COVID-19  on the other.

The overview is continuously being updated.

  • Annual Reviews (external link) – Access to all E-Journals of Annual Reviews. Annual Reviews provides access to 63 Journals in biological, physical, and social sciences.
  • Australian National University – The ANU Library has opened up access through HathiTrust (external link) to around 2,700 works published by the University. This research covers a broad range of subject areas: Pacific Linguistics; Strategic and Defence Studies; Pacific Archaeology; Japanese Studies; Aboriginal Economic Policy Research; Economics; Environmental Studies; and more. 
  • Cochrane – Unrestricted access to the Cochrane Library, a compilation of systematic reviews reflecting the current state of knowledge in medical research. 
  • EDP Sciences (external link) – To support all researchers during the COVID-19 pandemic, EDP Sciences has opened the journals content 2018-2020 so it is freely available for all to read.
  • Elsevier (external link) – Access to all textbooks on ScienceDirect. Elsevier offers access to 256 textbooks in the fields of science, technology, medicine, health sciences, social sciences, economics.
    Access for ETH members only
  • JSTOR (external link) – JSTOR and participating publishers (external link) are making an expanded set of content available to participating institutions where students have been displaced due to COVID-19, including the journals collections Arts & Sciences, the JSTOR thematic collections Sustainability, Security Studies, and Lives of Literature as well as a still growing collection of 30 000 e-books.
    Access for ETH members only
  • McGraw Hill – AccessMedicine (external link). Access to over 85 medical textbooks, 250 videos,10.000 images and, 1000 differential diagnoses by symptom, disease or organ system in a downloadable tool Diagnosaurus.
    Access for ETH members only
  • McGraw Hill - AccessScience. (link opens a new window) Open access to the core articles in the fields of Life Sciences, Earth and Space Sciences, Physical Sciences and Engineering and Design on the platform AccessScience to support the online educational community. 
  • Project MUSE (external link) – Project MUSE is making scholarly content temporarily of different publishers available for free on their platform. The list is continuously updated

Members of ETH Zurich will, of course, continue to have access to our e-resources during the physical closure as part of the protective measures related to COVID-19. If you have any questions, we will be happy to help you by e-mail: 

  • AMBOSS (external link) – Access to the Learning Card on COVID-19 in the Knowledge Library.
    Access for ETH members only
  • American Chemical Society (ACS) (external link) – In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, ACS Publications is releasing a free-to-read Virtual Issue, featuring a collection of articles on coronavirus research. 
  • American Institute of Physics (AIP) (link opens a new window) - To support global research during the COVID-19 pandemic, AIP Publishing has made a collection of articles on infectious diseases, epidemics, computational epidemiology, and pandemics free to read.
  • American Medical Association (external link) – Access to all publications in the JAMA Network COVID-19 collection.
  • American Physiological Society (link opens a new window) - Articles discussing COVID-19, coronavirus, SARS, and other related research are being made freely accessible by the American Physiological Society in a cross-journal collection.
  • ASTM International (link opens a new window) - Global standards organization ASTM International is providing no-cost public access to a suite of two dozen important standards used in the production and testing of personal protective equipment to combat the COVID-19 (coronavirus) public health emergency.
  • BioOne (external link) – In collaboration with the Association of Research Libraries, BioOne has made articles related to coronavirus in three journals available via open access through 2020.
  • BioWorld (external link) – Free access to BioWorld articles: The articles in this collection are from BioWorld’s ongoing coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak. Note the three critical tables, which are constantly being updated:
    • Vaccines and therapeutics in development
    • Diagnostics on the market and in development
    • Clinical trials of biopharma products affected by COVID-19
  • BMJ (link opens a new window) - All coverage of the coronavirus outbreak from across the BMJ's journals and learning resources is made freely available.
  • Cambridge University Press (link opens a new window) - A free for access and still growing Coronavirus collection with relevant book chapters and journal articles currently available at Cambridge University Press has been set up.
  • Elsevier (external link) – Elsevier gives full access to its content on its COVID-19 Information Center for PubMed Central and other public health databases to accelerate the fight against coronavirus.
    This additional access allows researchers to use artificial intelligence to keep up with the rapidly growing body of literature and identify trends as countries around the world address this global health crisis.
  • Emerald (external link) – Free access to content related to Coronavirus and epidemics management in general. These materials do not only relate to the current clinical challenges of Novel Coronavirus, but also to other previous Coronavirus outbreaks (notably SARS).
  • European Standardisation Organization (CEN) in cooperation with the Swiss Standards Association (SNV) (external link) – The European Standardisation Organisation (CEN) provides free of charge standards on protective equipment and relevant medical devices. The standards can be ordered in the shop of the Swiss Standards Association (SNV) for download or printed. 
  • IEEE (link opens a new window) - IEEE provides temporary free access to all articles and standards from the IEEE Xplore digital library that may help researchers understand and manage different aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic and technologies that can be leveraged to combat it. 
  • IOP Publishing (link opens a new window) - IOP Publishing makes all published and forthcoming articles related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) free available throughout the duration of the crisis. 
  • JoVE (external link) – JoVE provides free access to STEM education videos to support the distance learning required due to the COVID-19 pandemic through June 15 2020.
  • JSTOR (external link) – Temporarily, 26 newly released Public Health journals have been made available for free access.
  • Karger (external link) – Karger is making all published Coronavirus / COVID-19 articles freely available until the end of 2020, in order to support current research initiatives, grouped in a “Coronavirus Topic Article Package”.
  • Mary Ann Liebert (external link) – Free access to a collection of articles to help fully understand the outbreak of COVID-19. 
  • OECD iLibrary (link opens a new window) - For the next months, all content related to the global coronavirus crisis will be freely accessible to all users in the OECD iLibrary.
  • Oxford University Press (link opens a new window) - As part of the response to the ongoing COIVD-19 pandemic across the world, Oxford University Press has made content on COVID-19, other coronaviruses, and related topics from online resources and leading journals freely accessible to assist researchers, medical professionals, policy makers, and others who are working to address this health crisis.
  • PMC (external link) – List of publishers that are working with NLM (National Library of Medicine) to make their coronavirus-related articles discoverable and accessible through PMC (PubMed Central®) and facilitate text mining and secondary analysis through machine-readable formats and licenses.
  • ProQuest Coronavirus Research Database (link opens a new window) - ProQuest is launching a new Coronavirus Research Database, giving all ProQuest users no-cost access to full-text content covering all facets of COVID-19 and related infectious diseases. Access for ETH members only. 
  • Royal Society of Chemistry (external link) – All Royal Society of Chemistry-published research papers related to COVID-19 are available to read now as part of this free to access coronavirus article collection.
  • SAGE Publishing (link opens a new window) - Free Medical, Social, and Behavioral Science Articles from SAGE Publishing: This collection includes the latest medical research from SAGE related to the coronavirus as well as top social and behavioral research to help individuals, communities, and leaders make the best decisions on dealing with the outbreak and its consequences. 
  • SIAM (link opens a new window) - The SIAM Epidemiology Collection has been made freely available. It contains content on epidemiology, disease modeling, pandemics and vaccines. 
  • Springer Nature (external link) – To support urgent research to combat the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19, the editorial teams at Nature Research have curated a collection of relevant articles.
    Springer Nature supports the global response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak by enabling fast and direct access to the latest available research, evidence, and data. Related research articles from journals, as well as additional commentary on this topic and relevant books, are free to access.
  • Taylor & Francis (external link) – In response to this global health issue, all coronavirus and COVID-19-related, peer-reviewed research published in Taylor & Francis journals is now free to access and available for anyone to read. 
  • The Lancet (external link) – To assist health workers and researchers to bring the COVID-19 outbreak to a close, The Lancet provides all COVID-19 content for free.
  • The Royal Society (external link) – The Royal Society has decided to make relevant COVID-19 content free to access and to remove all access controls on their journals for the time being. 
  • Wiley (external link) – Real-time feed with the latest research on COVID-19 available on Wiley Online Library.
  • Wolters Kluwer (external link) – Free Resources for Clinical Researchers:
    Curated Covid-19 related resources & tools for scientist, epidemiologists and clinical researchers including Gideon (Global Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology Online Network)
    Resources for Clinicians and Medical Professionals from UpToDate:
    For clinicians at the front lines of the outbreak who are seeking the most current, evidence-based clinical decision support, the Coronavirus topic on UpToDate is available free in English and Chinese.
    UpToDate has also curated a list of additional resources, including novel coronavirus guidelines from global and national agencies. 

ETH Library pays open access fees for COVID-19 pandemic related articles

ETH Library supports the dissemination of knowledge related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Researchers at ETH Zurich can now apply for special open access funding, which the library makes available during the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding covers open access fees for articles in Gold open access journals and in Hybrid journals. Further information

Scientific e-books

Discover the wide range of topics covered by the scientific e-books available in full-text and online to members of ETH Zurich at no charge. If you can’t find a title on the ETH Library Search Portal, you can search for it directly on the publisher pages.

Tip: Whenever possible, download the PDF version of an e-book. Doing so reduces the load on the network infrastructure and also makes reading easier and more convenient for you.

  • German-language literature (external link) in the social sciences, humanities and natural sciences. This includes titles from the publishers Beltz, Schäffer-Poeschel, VDE, Barbara Budrich, Eugen Ulmer, Vogel, mitp, Oekom and transcript. You will need to register.
  • Herdt (external link) – The Herdt Campus ALL YOU CAN READ offer features a comprehensive range of IT educational media. You can download e-books as PDF files on topics such as Windows, Office, CAD, image editing or programming. You will need to go through a one-time registration process to access these resources.
  • Safari (external link) – Safari Books Online gives you access to nearly 45,000 e-books from a variety of publishers in the fields of computer science and information technology, telecommunications, electronic technologies and engineering. However, you can only read these e-books online.
  • Springer E-Books (external link) – Books from all topic areas. You can easily download entire books as PDF files.
  • Thieme (external link) – Textbooks on medicine, biology, chemistry. Individual chapters (or entire books if you register in the eRef app) can be downloaded and read offline.
  • UTB (external link) – On the utb-studi-e-book platform, textbooks are available in the subject areas of natural and earth sciences as well as business administration and economics. You can view a complete list of available titles by clicking the “Licensed titles” button. (German only)

Scientific initiatives and platforms

There are various initiatives, resources and platforms that are of interest to researchers especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Folding@home (external link) is a distributed computing platform for research and development of a vaccine against COVID-19. You can participate with your (private) computer by making its computing capacity available for use. When your computer is not being used by you and goes into an idle mode, the platform makes use of the computer’s free resources over the Internet.

The videos of JoVE Science Education (external link) explain the fundamentals of science in an understandable way. Depending on your needs, subtitles can be displayed in various languages, including German and French.

If you want to learn more about the human body and how it works, you should visit Visible Body (external link). Four different apps allow you to dissect virtual dead bodies and have common diseases represented to you. Brief animations explain physiological processes and muscle actions.

For those interested in the history of science, two Wiley digital archives are available:

  • The digitized original documents of the New York Academy of Sciences (external link) provide you with insight into the administrative processes of the Academy and its members. A variety of tools for analysis and visualisation complement the resources and make this chapter of America’s history of science accessible and visible in many ways.
  • Large sections of the archive maintained by the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) (external link), which is based in London and is one the world’s oldest and largest geographical societies, have also been digitized and are available for access online. You can research and evaluate correspondence, maps, photographs, expedition reports, fieldnotes, manuscripts and books which the RGS has been collecting since its foundation in 1830. The map collection is particularly impressive; one of the largest in the world, it covers the period from 1485 up to the present day.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

MOOCs are often free of charge and usually offer videos of lectures with associated exercises. With the archived and self-directed courses, you can learn at your own pace. In contrast, ongoing courses only take place at fixed times but allow you to take advantage of additional options of interactions.

  • (external link) – This commercial platform from the United States includes more than 2,000 courses on science, technology and art topics.
  • (external link) – This platform lists more than 5,000 courses offered by various providers in English or German. The German courses are often videos of lectures held at German universities.
  • (external link) – This platform was founded by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University. Prestigious organisations offer more than 1,000 self-paced courses and several hundred ongoing courses. Courses offered by ETH Zurich (external link) are among them. The free courses all relate to science, technology and art topics.
  • (external link) – This non-commercial platform offers over 4,000 courses in mathematics, natural sciences, history and economics. The MOOCs have been translated into many different languages and are intended for students on all educational levels.

Looking to think about something other than COVID-19?

We would like to present to you several tips from our subject specialists.

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