PubMed is a freely accessible database developed and maintained by the U.S. National Library of Medicine that indexes more than 32 million citations in medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, and the preclinical sciences. It comprises biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books.
The goals of this guide are to help you:
1. Understand PubMed's scope and content.
3. Manage your results using Display, Sort, Clipboard, Save, Print, e-Mail.
4. Save your search strategies.
5. Link to full-text articles and other resources.
6. Use special queries and other PubMed/NCBI tools.
This guide is intended for UM/JMH researchers. It may also be helpful to anyone who works with PubMed, though articles from the results may be limited to UM/JMH users depending on subscription details.
This recorded Calder Library Training Session will teach you the basics of searching PubMed.
- Search for throat cancer and HPV. Limit your results to review articles written in the last 5 years.
- Find articles with the word “tropical” in the title written by an author affiliated with the University of Miami.
- Find references about the relationships between circadian rhythms and either cortisol or melatonin in humans.
- Using MeSH, find citations on the hazardous effects of the MMR vaccination on humans, published within the last five years, in English.
- Using MeSH, how many citations can you find about the ethics of liver transplantation?
- Using MeSH, find citations to articles about schizophrenia resulting from prenatal exposure to influenza.
- Using MeSH, find articles on clinical trials using light therapy to treat seasonal depressive disorder, published in English. Show all results to Display the Abstracts. Select three or four citations and save them in a Collection titled Light Therapy. Share the collection.
MeSH is the acronym for Medical Subject Headings. PubMed uses a controlled vocabulary, meaning that there is a specific set of terms used to describe each article. Each MeSH term represents a single concept used in the biomedical literature. Familiarity with this vocabulary will make you a better PubMed searcher, as the best way to search PubMed is to use MeSH terms. MeSH imposes uniformity and consistency to the indexing of biomedical literature.
Using MeSH therefore makes your search:
1. RELEVANT (only articles that relate to the topic you want will be retrieved).
2. CONSISTENT (related subjects are consistently grouped together under the same headings).
3. Subheadings allow you to focus or narrow your search.
4. Automatic explosion.
5. Allows you option to chose major focus.
6. Reduces number of "false drops" retrieved.
7. Helps you avoid ambiguous terms or synonyms.
8. MeSH terms can be broad, i.e. "anatomy," or narrow, i.e. "eyelashes"
10. Saves you time