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Library: PubMed

 What is PubMed?

PubMed provides free access to the National Library of Medicine (NLM)'s database of indexed citations, MEDLINE.  Along with MEDLINE, PubMed also provides access to PubMedCentral, NCBI Bookshelf, OLDMEDLINE (Pre-1966 citations), and In-Process Citations.

It contains over 27 million citations from medical, nursing, dental, veterinary, health care, and preclinical sciences journal articles.  These citiations come from over 5,600 scholarly journals published around the world.  These journals are in numerous languages and date back as far as 1946 with new citations added daily.  Many of the citations link to Free Full Text articles.  However, if you want an article that does not have a Free Full Text link, please submit an Interlibrary Loan Request.

PubMed was developed by the National Center for Biotechnology (NCBI) at the National Library of Medicine (NLM).

 PubMed Basic Search

The basic search bar is located at the top of the PubMed page.  The drop-down list, to the left of the search bar, allows users to select and search different NCBI/NLM database. 

Type keywords into the search field. If using Boolean Operators (AND, OR, NOT) in PubMed remember to make them in ALL CAPS!

Get better results by using Boolean Operators (AND, OR, NOT) and applying filters.

If you are curious about how PubMed is performing your search check out the Search Details located on the right side of your results page.

The Search Details shows the researcher how PubMed is performing the search.  In the search for high blood pressure, PubMed is actually searching the following terms: "hypertension"[MeSH Terms] OR "hypertension"[All Fields] OR ("high"[All Fields] AND "blood"[All Fields] AND "pressure"[All Fields]) OR "high blood pressure"[All Fields].  The search details can be modified to create a different search.

 PubMed Advance Search Builder

The Advance Search Builder allows researchers to search by Author, Journal, Title and more. Build your search by combine search terms using Boolean terms: AND, OR, NOT.


MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) is the U.S. National Library of Medicine's controlled vocabulary which is used for indexing articles.

 National Library of Medicine MeSH

 PubMed Mesh Search

 NCBI Account

Create a NCBI Account for free!

This allows you to save searches, filter options, setup automatic email alerts and more.  When you are signed into your NCBI account, your recent activity searches and records will be accessible for 6 months.

 Applying Filters

Filters can be located on the left sidebar.  They are helpful in narrowing down the results from your search. Notice that you can limit the results to free full text articles and the publication date to the last 5 years.

Want more information on how to apply filters?  Check out this helpful video from NCBI!

 Advance Search History

Under the PubMed Advance Search Builder is the search history.  Researchers can combine their previous searches to create a new search.  This is done by clicking add which moves historical searches to the advance search builder.

The maximum number of searches available in the search history is 100.  Meaning that after a 100 searches PubMed will remove the oldest search from the history and add the most current search.  This history will be lost after 8 hours of inactivity on the NCBI web site.  If you would like to save your searches, create a free NCBI account. 

Want more information on about the Advance Search Builder and History?  Check out this helpful video from NCBI!