How-To: Searching with PubMed
by Dr. Christine Tomkinson. Last modified: 30/01/14
What is PubMed?
PubMed is a free search engine accessing primarily the MEDLINE database of references and abstracts on life sciences and biomedical topics. The United States National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the National Institutes of Health maintains the database as part of the Entrez system of information retrieval.
PubMed can be found here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed
What is MEDLINE?
MEDLINE is the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) premier bibliographic database that contains over 19 million references to journal articles in life sciences with a concentration on biomedicine. A distinctive feature of MEDLINE is that the records are indexed with NLM Medical Subject Headings (MeSH). The majority of the publications covered in MEDLINE are scholarly journals; a small number of newspapers, magazines, and newsletters considered useful to particular segments of the NLM broad user community are also included
In addition to MEDLINE, PubMed provides access to:
- older references from the print version of Index Medicus back to 1951 and earlier
- references to some journals before they were indexed in Index Medicus and MEDLINE, for instance Science, BMJ, and Annals of Surgery
- very recent entries to records for an article before it is indexed with Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) and added to MEDLINE
- a collection of books available full-text and other subsets of NLM records
To search PubMed, type a word or phrase into the query box (e.g., a subject, author and/or journal). Then click on the Search button or press the Enter key.
You can combine search terms with connector words: “AND,” “OR,” or “NOT” using upper case letters.
PubMed displays a list of Results in Summary format after clicking on the Search button. To retrieve more information about citation(s), use the Display Settings link to change how the results are formatted, sorted and displayed.
Filters are available in the left navigation bar and may be used to limit or focus searches. Click on a term to activate or deactivate the filter. Multiple filters may be selected.
Video courtesy ThisIsHealth Youtube Channel.
Video courtesy NCBI Youtube Channel.
Printing, E-mailing & Downloading Results
The Clipboard feature stores selected citations from one or more searches for eight hours. Select citations by clicking the check box next to them; from the Send to menu, select Clipboard; then click the Add to Clipboard button. Click on the Clipboard link to view citations.
After selecting citations (e.g. from checked boxes or Clipboard), use Display Settings to identify a format and print from the browser. Alternatively, select from the Send To menu: File saves a downloadable file; E-mail offers formatting options and. Citation Manager creates a file in the MEDLINE format for download into citation management software.
Further PubMed Tutorials & HelpThe following two tabs change content below.
Dr. Christine TomkinsonBSc BMBS Resident Physician, NeurologyChristine is a Resident Physician in Neurology based in Ontario, Canada. She studied at the University of Guelph, Ontario and the University of Limerick, Ireland. Her main interests are stroke, dementia care and multiple sclerosis.
Latest posts by Dr. Christine Tomkinson (see all)
- Rapid Review: Seizures & Midazolam - 23/06/14
- Rapid Reviews: Use Your Head! Concussion evaluation and management - 05/03/14
- How-To: Searching with PubMed - 30/01/14
How-To: Searching with PubMed
Get weekly email updates!
Cast Your Vote
- Blogs (40)
- Case Studies (8)
- Featured Article (23)
- How-To (47)
- FOAM (8)
- News (117)
- Conference Tweets (31)
- Pharmacology (1)
- Adrenaline (1)
- Research (180)
- Advanced Practice (2)
- Airway Management (6)
- Anaphylaxis (2)
- Cardiac (15)
- Community Paramedic (2)
- Critical Care Paramedic (4)
- Diagnostics (3)
- Dispatch (1)
- ECG (4)
- Education (10)
- EMS Operations (2)
- End-of-Life Care (3)
- Geriatrics (9)
- Guidelines (22)
- HEMS (4)
- Mass Casualty (2)
- Medical Conditions (5)
- Mental Health (7)
- Military & Tactical (2)
- Neonatal (1)
- Neuro (11)
- Obstetrics (1)
- Paediatrics (4)
- Pain Management (4)
- Poster Presentations (5)
- Professionalism (5)
- Remote, Industrial & Austere (6)
- Respiratory (5)
- Resuscitation (27)
- Rural (3)
- Safety (3)
- Sepsis (7)
- Shock (2)
- Simulation (7)
- Sports Medicine (1)
- Trauma (20)
- Reviews (6)
There are no upcoming events at this time.
- Free access: Resuscitation Today Vol 3 Issue 2 (27/06/16)
- Free CPD at the Emergency Services Show (23/05/16)
- Canadian Paramedicine Feb/Mar 2016 – Open Access Issue (11/04/16)
- Free access: Resuscitation Today Volume 3 Issue 1 (01/04/16)
- Introducing the Irish Journal of Paramedicine (22/11/15)
Latest How-To Articles
- Paramedic students…write something! (28/04/16)
- Understanding diagnostic tests 2: likelihood ratios, pre- and post-test probabilities and their use in clinical practice (30/01/15)
- Understanding diagnostic tests 1: sensitivity, specificity and predictive values (11/12/14)
- GRADE guidelines – best practices using the GRADE framework (22/11/14)
- How to get started with EMS research – JEMS (16/05/14)
academic ACS AED airway management ambulance AMI Australia Canada cardiac cardiac arrest case study CCP clinical management computer conference consensus CPG CPR CPR UL critical care CVA database ECG education elderly EMS evidence based FOAM FPHC geriatric guide guideline guidelines haemorrhage HEMS immobilisation Ireland journal medication mental health neurology news OHCA online paediatric pain management paramedic prehospital PTSD reference research resuscitation review safety sepsis simulation social media software spinal STEMI stress stroke study TBI training Translational Health Sciences trauma Twitter UK USA