|PubMed®is the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) premiere search system for health information. It is availablefreeon the Internet athttp://pubmed.gov.
- MEDLINE®: NLM’s database of over 22 million citations of articles published in biomedical and related journals which have been fully indexed.
- In-process citations that have not yet been analyzed and indexed for MEDLINE.
- Publisher supplied citations that will be analyzed to receive full indexing for MEDLINE if they are biomedical in nature.
Assistance and Training
Click onHelplink or onPubMed TutorialsunderUsing PubMedon the PubMed homepage.
- To search PubMed, type a word or phrase into the query box (e.g., a subject, author and/or journal). Then click on theSearchbutton or press the Enter key. Combine search terms with connector words: “AND,” “OR,” or “NOT” using upper case letters.
- PubMed offers alternative searching options; for example, the auto suggest drop-down menu appears when entering words and a Titles with your search terms box may be available after a search.
- PubMed displays a list of Results in Summary format after clicking on the Search button. To retrieve more information about the citation(s), use the Display Settings menu to change the format, how the results are sorted and how many citations are displayed.
- Filters are available in the left navigation bar and may be used to limit searches. Click on a term to activate or deactivate the filter. Multiple choices may be made within a section.
- Use Choose additional filters and more to reveal additional filter options including: Species (Humans or Animals), Article types, Languages, Subjects, Ages, Sex, and Journal categories. Check desired selections then click the Show button.
A helpful PubMed feature is the ability to find citations that are similar to those of interest. To retrieve related articles, click on theRelated citationslink under the PMID of citations in the Summary format or selectRelated citations in PubMedin the right navigation column when examining a single citation in the Abstract format.
J You should have a Research Question:
Example: What role does pain have in sleep disorders?
- Always remember to decide on the keywords.
- Keywords are used for searches.
- Always identify and write down search terms.
- Always compare the keywords in the different articles you are reading.
- Searchers may designate if this word or words should be searched for in a title, abstract, often even the text, or all of these.
Skill 1: How do I search by keywords?
- Launch the PubMed.
- Enter the keywords in the search in the search box.
- Click Search.
Skill 2: How do I search by author?
- Enter the author’s last name plus initials without punctuation in the search box, and then click Search.
- If you only know the author’s last name, use the author search field tag [au]. o e.g., Abu Raddaha [au].
Skill 3: Can I search by keywords and author?
Yes, of course. To search for citations to articles written by Neal L. Benowitz about nicotine dependence enter the following search terms into the search box:nicotine dependence Benowitz NL
Skill 4: How do I search by journal name?
Enter the journal name or abbreviation in the search box.
Example: To search for articles about drosophila in the Journal of Advanced Nursing enter the following in the search box:Journal of Advanced Nursing
Skill 5: How do I find a specific citation? I have some information such as the author, journal name and the year the article was published.
1. Enter the information in the search box and the PubMed citation sensor will automatically analyze the search for citation information.
2. Alternatively, use the Single Citation Matcher to find citations with a fill-in-the-blank format:
- Click Single Citation Matcher from the PubMed homepage.
- Enter the information you have in the fill-in-the-blank boxes.
- Click Go.
Skill 6: Can you explain the search results?
- PubMed search results are displayed in a summary format, see the anatomy of search results page below.
- Citations are initially displayed 20 items per page with the most recently entered citations displayed first.
- You can mouse-over a journal’s title abbreviation to display the full journal name.Anatomy of the Summary Results
Skill 7: How do I display an abstract?
Click the title of the article to see the abstract. “No abstract available” is indicated on citations without an abstract.
Concern 1: I retrieved too many citations. How can I focus my search?
Several options are available to limit the number of search results, these are a few of them:
- Replace general search terms with more specific ones (e.g., search for low back pain instead of back pain).
- Add additional terms to your search.
- Use the sidebar filters to restrict your results by publication dates, species, article types, etc.
Skill 8: What are the Search Field Tags
They are helpful tools you can use to narrow your search.
- The format to search for this field is: last name followed by a space and up to the first two initials followed by a space and [au]- e.g., Abu Raddaha AH [AU]
- Initials and suffixes may be omitted when searching.
- The journal search field includes the journal title abbreviation, full journal title, or ISSN number
- full journal title (e.g., molecular biology of the cell)
- title abbreviation (e.g., mol biol cell)
- ISSN number, a standardized international code (e.g., 1059-1524)
MeSH Terms [MH]
- Articles are indexed using a powerful vocabulary called Medical Subject Headings (MeSH). The MeSH Database provides the option of identifying appropriate MeSH terms for searches.
- The National Library of Medicine [NLM] Medical Subject Headings controlled vocabulary of biomedical terms that is used to describe the subject of each journal article in MEDLINE. MeSH contains approximately 26 thousand terms and is updated annually to reflect changes in medicine and medical terminology. MeSH terms are arranged hierarchically by subject categories with more specific terms arranged beneath broader terms. PubMed allows you to view this hierarchy and select terms for searching in the MeSH Database.
- TheMeSH Databaseis available from the drop-down search menu, the PubMed homepage and from the Advanced page under “More Resources.” Use the MeSH database to search for a particular term or concept. If multiple items are retrieved, click on the desired term to view and select subheadings and other options. Then click on theAdd to Search Builderbutton on the right side of the screen. When finished adding search terms, clickSearch PubMedto complete the search.
- Words and numbers included in the title of a citation, as well as the collection title for book citations.
- Words and numbers included in the title, collection title, abstract, and other abstract of a citation. English language abstracts are taken directly from the published article. If an article does not have a published abstract, NLM does not create one.
Publication Date [DP]
- Publication date is the date that the article was published.
- Dates or date ranges must be searched using the format yyyy/mm/dd [dp], e.g. 1998/03/06 [dp]. The month and day are optional (e.g., 1998 [dp] or 1998/03 [dp]).
- To enter a date range search, insert a colon (:) between each date (e.g., 1996:1998 [dp] or 1998/01:1998/04 [dp]).
Publication Type [PT]
- Describes the type of material the article represents (e.g., Review, Clinical Trial, Meta-Analysis, Letter, Guideline).
Skill 9: Combining search terms with Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT)
- PubMed applies an AND operator between concepts, e.g., “vitamin c common cold” is translated as vitamin c AND common cold. Enter Boolean operators in uppercase characters to combine or exclude search terms:
- ANDretrieves results that include all the search terms.
- ORretrieves results that include at least one of the search terms.
- NOTexcludes the retrieval of terms from your search.
- Find citations on DNA that were authored by Dr. Crick in 1993: dna [mh] AND crick [au] AND 1993 [dp]
- Find citations on the effects of heat or humidity on multiple sclerosis: (heat OR humidity) AND multiple sclerosis
- Find citations about arthritis excluding the Publication Type Letter: arthritis NOT letter [pt]