For the past few years, biomedical researchers have been the only scientists to enjoy a free, comprehensive papers database courtesy of Uncle Sam. But now there's a sort of PubMed for the physical sciences as well. Today, the Department of Energy (DOE) unveiled PubSCIENCE, an online citations database for physical sciences journals announced last summer (Science, 6 August, p. 811).
With 19 publishers (including AAAS, publisher of Science) and about 1000 journals lined up so far, PubSCIENCE already has over a million citations dating as far back as 1974. For example, searching last week for "nanotechnology" brought up 571 references in publications ranging from the Bulletin of the American Physical Society to Technology Review. Over 85% of the citations pull up free abstracts, and recent ones link to the journals' own sites, where you might need a subscription to see full text, says R. L. Scott, associate manager of DOE's Office of Scientific and Technical Information. He says PubSCIENCE expects to build up to as many as 2000 journals of interest to DOE scientists, as well as cut a deal soon with a private firm that would broker full-text articles.