How To Search/PubMed

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  • Purpose: "to provide access to citations from biomedical literature." [1]
  • Audience: PubMed is run by National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) which is part of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) in the United States. NCBI was established in 1988 as a national resource for molecular biology information, NCBI creates public databases, conducts research in computational biology, develops software tools for analyzing genome data, and disseminates biomedical information - all for the better understanding of molecular processes affecting human health and disease. [2]
  • Scope: Biomedical literature. Pubmed "allows users to access a superset of NLM's MEDLINE database containing MEDLINE, in-process citations, and citations to articles from selectively indexed journals that normally would not be selected for MEDLINE indexing." [3]
  • Refresh Rate: ?

Boolean Operators[edit | edit source]

Syntax Example
AND {Default}
skunk tomato
skunk OR tomato
skunk NOT tomato

Other Operators[edit | edit source]

Syntax Example Description
"kidney allograft"
phrase search

Search Fields[edit | edit source]

"PubMed uses an Automatic Term Mapping feature to search for unqualified terms. When you click Go, PubMed will look for a match in up to four lists. It looks first for a match in the MeSH Translation Table. If it doesn't find a match, it looks in the Journals Translation Table and finally in the Author Index. As soon as PubMed finds a match, the mapping stops. That is, if a term matches in the MeSH Translation Table, PubMed does not continue looking in the next table." [4] When there are no matches found during the automatic term mapping process, individual words are searched in all fields.

Syntax Example Description
MeSH (Medical Subject Headings)
Journal Title
[au] or {Default}
Washington G
Date of Publication
Entrez Date - Date publication was entered into Pubmed
Date publication was given MeSH terms

Alternative Search Interface[edit | edit source]

  • iPubMed An interface allowing interactive and fuzzy search

Other Features[edit | edit source]

An excellent PubMed tutorial can be found at

External links[edit | edit source]

  • PubMed Reader -- PubMed Reader is a free web-based research program for displaying PubMed / Medline search results on an individual, custom tailored basis.