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Help Topics:

Accessing EthicShare Materials

At the heart of EthicShare lies its collection of scholarly materials.  However, EthicShare generally provides only bibliographic information, much like PubMed and other bibliographic databases.  The EthicShare team has recognized the importance to the research community of gaining access to the full text of these materials, and has developed methods for providing that access when possible:

  1. Many items are available for free through the publisher.  If this is the case, the EthicShare citation will contain a link below the title, author, etc. and above the record source and abstract that states "Full Text Available on Publisher Website."  Click this link to see an example of an item with this method of access.
  2. All items feature a "Find In a Library" link on the upper right corner of the item record that looks like this: Find In a Library.  Clicking on this icon takes the citation information from EthicShare and uses it to check for access through a local library. Another browser window or tab will open, displaying links for access that may prompt you for your institutional log-in.
    • Your local library is automatically configured using your IP address.
    • You can set a Library Link Preference in your settings if you are a registered user, allowing you to get to your home institution's materials even if you are off campus.

Other options:

Unfortunately, even with all these options, it is not possible to guarantee access for every EthicShare user to every item easily.  If your library does not subscribe to a particular journal, for instance, you may have to use other means, such as interlibrary loan, to get access.

If you have additional questions or would like further clarification of the ways in which EthicShare can provide access to the items in its collections, please contact


The EthicShare calendar, maintained by EthicShare staff and open to submissions by users, is an up-to-date record of events and calls for papers, job announcements, and other deadlines in your field.  To find events, go to the Calendar tab.

How to use the Calendar

How to add events to the Calendar

To suggest items for inclusion in the EthicShare calendar, click on the Share tab at the top of the page. At this time we are accepting suggestions for both calls for papers and events (conferences, lectures, etc.) to be listed on the calendar. Conference announcements and calls for papers must be for an area within the broader field of applied or practical ethics.

EthicShare Account

Setting up an EthicShare account is very easy. The instructions below provide detailed help on the specifics of setting up the different parts of your account and on its various features. 

EthicShare Account Help:

Creating a Free Account

To create a free account, click the Create A Free Account link (also found in the header above) and fill out the form. You must create a username and provide an e-mail address.  After submitting the form you will receive an email with your password and other information. Use that information to sign in.

Editing Your Account Preferences

Once you have an EthicShare account, you can edit and update your preferences in several different sections: Account Preferences, Directory Profile, Feature & System Alerts, Research Study Consent, and Search Preferences.

Account Preferences

In this area, you can edit your username, e-mail address, and password.  You can also add a picture to your profile.

You can also check off on some additional settings:

  1. Contact Settings
    • This box, "Personal Contact Form," is checked on by default.  This means that other EthicShare users can contact you by clicking on your name and filling out a form.  Your e-mail address will not be displayed.  If you do not want to be contacted by other users (site administrators will still be able to contact you if necessary), you may uncheck this box.
  2. Activity Privacy Settings
    • When you are logged on to EthicShare, the site tracks your activity by default (including individual citations viewed and groups visited) and displays it for you.  The display includes links, so that you can easily go back to places that you were previously.  However, if you would prefer that EthicShare not track your activity, you may check the box "Do not reecord my site activity."

Directory Profile

In this section, you can update your first and last names, organization, organization department/unit, and your interests.  None of this information is required.  You can also choose whether or not to include your profile in the public user directory.

Feature & System Alerts

By default, you will receive occasional news and feature updates from the EthicShare team.  If you wish to not have these e-mails sent to you, check the box in this section.

Research Study Consent

The EthicShare team occasionally undertakes research studies on the use of the EthicShare site.  This section of your account has a box that you can check if you are willing to participate in these studies, and provides some information on what that means.  Visit the "User Research" page under the About tab for more information.

Search Preferences

In this section, you can identify an instititution that you are affliated with.  The institution is usually the university or organization that you use to access research materials.  This will allow EthicShare to link you to your licensed resources if they are available electronically.  If you do not see your institution, contact us at to see about adding it.

For more information on accessing materials found in EthicShare, visit the "Accessing EthicShare Materials" help page.

"My Home"

After you sign into EthicShare as a registered user, the home page tab becomes a "My Home" tab, a personal home page for you. From this page, there will still be the same resources that were on the home page before you signed in, including recent news articles, upcoming events, and your recent activity.  Watch for more features to be added to your home page in the future.


What Am I Searching?

Developed with an initial focus on bioethics, the EthicShare database features scholarly articles, books, archival and digital objects, popular press literature, dissertations, and commission reports, as well as blogs and other sources.

EthicShare draws heavily on data from NLM's PubMed, OCLC's WorldCat, newspapers and other sources.  To date, the EthicShare collection of PubMed data consists of journal article records, editorials, legal cases, newspaper articles, book reviews, interviews, case reports, non-US government documents, and more. The EthicShare database is updated and added to regularly.  For more information on what is in the database, please visit our Collection Development Policy page under the About tab.

More Help on Search:

Keyword Search and Booleans

EthicShare keyword searches are, by default, boolean "AND" searches.  This means that all your terms must appear in every
record in the result set.  However, you can specify your own boolean operators "AND," "OR" or "NOT"
(must be capitalized) to override this behavior. You can also use quotation marks, parenthesis, and plus/minus signs to narrow or
broaden searches. For example:


EthicShare automatically stems words in its search index, which means that a search on “wrong motivation” will find records containing such variants as “wrongful” and “motivational” as well as exact matches.

Advanced Search

Focus searches further and find specific items with the "advanced search" feature.  This allows you to search within specific fields:

Search by Author

Type the author’s name into the the box for Author. Names from multiple authors can be combined in a single search. To search for a single author’s name, place your terms in quotation marks and use the following format: Last, First Middle.

Search by Subject

Any term entered in the basic search box will be found anywhere in the record. A topical term will be matched to terms in the record’s assigned subject terms as well as to words in the title, abstract, or elsewhere. To search only assigned subject terms, use the Advanced Search (you can find a link for this next to the Search button). This lets you enter your term in a specified Subject box which will match only against assigned subject terms. Note that assigned subject terms are not displayed in the record. The most frequent assigned subjects in your result set can be seen in the Refine by Subject section of the column at the right of the Search Results screen, Most of the assigned subject terms in EthicShare are Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) terms from PubMed.

Search for an Individual Citation

Type in the information you have into either the Search box or the Advanced Search boxes. To search for a particular journal title, enter the title in the Advance Search box labeled Journal. EthicShare will suggest titles which contain the term you enter in a drop down list from which you may select. You may also place your search in quotation marks to specify the exact title, e.g., “American journal of bioethics”.

Do not use abbreviated journal titles.

Search for Books

Type in the information that you have into either the search box or the advanced search and then choose Books in the refine by source type section on the right side of the search results page.

Search for News

Type in the information that you have into either the search box or the advanced search and then choose News in the refine by source type section on the right side of the search results page

Using Advanced search

Click on the Open Advanced Search link next to the Search button. The Advanced Search lets you choose the category your search term must be in, for example, to search “Good” as an author name but not also as a subject term or title word. Fill in one or more of the labeled boxes with your search terms. You can also use the operators AND, OR, and NOT to specify how two or more terms in a box should be combined. The Keyword box will for search for terms appearing anywhere in the record, like the basic Search box.


In the Share section of EthicShare, we welcome you to make suggestions about events and calls for papers, job announcements, and other deadlines in your field that should be included in EthicShare. Click on the Share tab (below the main Search box) to participate

To find events, go to the Calendar tab.


User Directory

What is the User Directory?

The User Directory lists the user names, first and last names, departments/units, and organizations of members of the EthicShare Community who have chosen to make this information public. The directory is, by default, sorted alphabetically by username, but it can also be sorted using any of the fields at the top of the directory (username, first name, last name, or organization).  This feature is useful if, for example, you would like to find EthicShare colleagues who work in organizations you are familiar with: simply sort by organization name.  The User Directory ultimately provides a way for the EthicShare Community to get to know each other.

How do I create or modify my description for the User Directory?

Once you're logged in, click on the "My Account Preferences" link in the header to go to the Account Preferences page. Then, underneath the green tabs bar, look for the "Directory Profile" link. Clicking this link will take you to the directory profile form, which allows you to put in only the information that you want available to the EthicShare Community. To make sure that your information then appears in the directory, select "Yes" under the question "Show in Public Directory?" toward the bottom of the page. If you select no, then the information you provided will not be in the director and will only appear when a user clicks on your username within EthicShare (for example, from a group page where you have contributed or when you are listed as a member of a group).