Get Free PDFs Through

[tweetmeme source=”Intellogist” only_single=false] When downloading academic or research papers for non-patent literature searches, PDF is an incredibly useful format.  Users can often keyword search the document (as long as it isn’t an image-only PDF) while still viewing the original layout.  PDF’s are also easy to print, share, and view on most browsers.  A bumper crop of PDF search systems have popped up, and we’ve reviewed a few of them in previous posts.  So wouldn’t it be great if researchers could access a search system that searches reliable, open-access non-patent literature databases (like Pubmed), as well as subscription-based databases and journals?  That PDF search system exists:

A recent article at Information Today describes Pubget as “the search engine for life sciences PDFs,”  and a new version of Pubget was recently released this summer that improves the system’s “look, feel, and workflow.”   Read on to learn about searching for non-patent literature and downloading PDFs on the new version of Pubget!

Registering for

Individual users can register for by visiting the website and selecting to create a new free account. Users can also sign in through Google or Facebook accounts. Once registered, users select institutions with which they are affiliated by choosing from a list of institutions in a drop-down menu under the main search bar or through  “Settings”>>”Select your institution.” also allows both registered and non registered users to search and view 3 million open-access papers.  Users can add “access:open” to the search query in the simple search form to limit results to free content.


Users can either select a simple or advanced form to search The simple form, accessible through the home page, lets users search by keyword in all fields, or users can define fields in which to search (ex- au:”John Smith”). According to the help guide, the search form supports quotation marks to represent adjacent terms, Boolean operators, and parentheses.

The simple search form.

The advanced search form allows users to select fields and Boolean operators through drop-down menus and enter terms in adjacent search boxes.

The search results appear in a window beside a PDF viewer screen, where users can view the selected search result in PDF format (if accessible). In the results list, users can access the following features:

  • Limits – users can choose to further limit their search results by date range, article type, ages, species, gender, or languages.
  • Users can select/deselect checkboxes to view “PDFs Only” or “Reviews Only.”
  • RSS – Users can select the RSS icon beside the search result number to create an RSS feed for the query.
  • View – Users can choose how man results per page, sort by newest or oldest, show results only from specific sources, and view search details (complete query).
  • Tools – Users can select all results (per page), download PDFs (in order to download multiple PDFs at one time, registered users need to download the Pubget Firefox Plugin), or download citations (in *.ris format).
  • Registered Users can also choose to “Email” or “Bookmark” individual results.

Use the limiting options to further narrow search results.

Viewing and Downloading PDFs

Users can either download the PDFs through a bulk download by selecting “Tools”>>”Download PDFs” above the hit list or downloading PDFs individually through the PDF viewer.  The bulk download option is only available through a Firefox plugin, as previously mentioned, and only a single page of results (up to 50) can be selected at one time.

Select all (on one result page) or some results to download in PDF format. Registered users must download the Pubget Firefox Plugin to download multiple results at one time.

The full document is viewable in a screen beside the search results, where an embedded PDF viewer (i.e. Adobe Acrobat) will display the full PDF of the document (if available). Users can select to print or download the document from the PDF viewer, and a top menu gives users the options to download the citation, bookmark the result, access a permalink to the record, “Get Permission” to access the record, or export the record to RefWorks.

Users can view the selected PDF in a window beside the result list.

Settings and Search History

Under “Settings,” accessible through the top right menu on the main page, registered users can view their search history and even save favorite searches. The “Settings” section also allows users to change account information (username, password, email, institution affiliation).

View search history under "Settings."

Conclusion has many more features than the PDF search systems discussed before.  Users can search through both open-access and subscription content (depending on the access of their institution), and the searcher can also bookmark results, view search history, export references, limit search results, and reorder the result list through a large variety of options.  Pubget does have some quirks, though:

  • The system seems to work best in the Firefox browser, especially since only the Firefox plugin allows users to bulk download.
  • The search result list sometimes converts back to the old site format, where the side-by-side viewing of the search results and PDF documents aren’t available. Users can alter this format by signing in to their accounts and selecting under “Settings”>>”Use the new version of Pubget.”

Have you used Pubget to download PDFs of academic or research papers for non-patent literature searches?  How do you feel about the new version of the site?  Let us know in the comments!

Patent Analysis from Landon IP

This post was contributed by Joelle Mornini. The Intellogist blog is provided for free by Intellogist’s parent company Landon IP, a major provider of patent searches, trademark searches, technical translations, and information retrieval services.


2 Responses

  1. Hi Joelle, Thanks for covering our service on this blog! I’d love to talk with you a bit more about your experience using our service, and the new version of the site in particular. Let me know if you’re interested.


  2. This site is charging about U$50 for free access paper!!!

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