PUBMED: Searching and Search Features


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PUBMED: Searching and Search Features

  1. 1. PubMed: Searching and SearchFeaturesKay CunninghamLibrary DirectorChristian Brothers UniversityAugust 2010
  2. 2. http://pubmed.govPubMed is available free online from the NationalCenter for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) and theNational Library of Medicine (NLM).It is one of a number NCBI resources, including:Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man, full text books,genetics databases, chemical information databases,and more.These can all be searched together with the Entrezcross-database searcher, also free, and available at:, advanced and specialized search featureswithin PubMed give you more control over yoursearch results. What you are looking for willdetermine the best tools for you to use.
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  4. 4. Cross-Searching Results and DifferencesA problem with cross-searching is thatdifferent databaseswork in different waysso your results may notbe the same if you usedeach database’s nativeinterface. TIP: Using quotation marks forces most databases to search for a phrase. Notice the difference in the number of results.
  5. 5. With Basic Search, just start keying terms into the search box. In PubMed, there’sno need for you to use quotes, ANDs, ORs, or any special formatting.In Basic Search, PubMed helps you choose search terms. When you enter a word, anautomatic list will be generated listing possibilities. Just select the one that youwant.
  6. 6. Author SearchingNo special commandsare needed to searchfor articles by anauthor, just input theperson’s name thisway (punctuationunnecessary):lastname initialsPubMed recognizesthat as the authorformat and auto-matically searches theauthor field. Note: PubMed finds an author, regardless of where he falls in the author list—first, middle, last.
  7. 7. Combining Multiple ConceptsSimply string together any terms related to your search. Do not use ANDsor ORs, as that interferes with how PubMed translates a search. Orderdoes not matter. If you want to see exactly what PubMed looked for,check out the Search Details for a translation.
  8. 8. TranslationPubMed automatically and properly ANDs your search terms, and ORs anysynonyms. Notice the original search at the bottom of the Details.
  9. 9. Finding JournalsSearch for Journals by title with: ▫ The official Medline abbreviation -  New Engl J Med ▫ Well-known unofficial abbreviations -  NEJM ▫ The complete title -  New England Journal of MedicineTIP: You may get variations in your results as the official abbreviation is the preferred search method. Use the Journals Database from PubMed’s home page to find the official abbreviation and to retrieve the exact number of all articles from a particular journal.
  10. 10. Journals DatabaseAccess the Journals Database from More Resources onPubMed’s Main Page ( Additional URL:
  11. 11. Transfer the search to PubMedOnce you’ve indentified the journal you want, click Links, then PubMed toactivate a search.
  12. 12. Special TopicsSome of thesespecial topiclinks go deeperinto PubMed;others go toexternal sites.
  13. 13. Clinical QueriesClinical Queries automatically retrieves and sorts results into categories.
  14. 14. Single-Citation MatcherIf you have an incorrector partial citation to anarticle, use the Single-Citation Matcher tosearch using citationelements.Mix and match as muchas you need.
  15. 15. Field Searching (Advanced) Useful for when you are looking for very specific items, Advanced Search lets you designate the fields to be searched. Particularly useful: •Affiliation – whenever an author has a common name •Text Word – whenever a topic is very new or rarely written about
  16. 16. Building an Advanced SearchHere, all that is known about acitation is: TIP: Long and complex searches •the author’s last name is Park, can be built in Advanced Search, •Park is affiliated with the then saved in My NCBI to be re- University of Tennessee, and run whenever you need to look for •Park has written about new articles. drosophilaKey individual elements into the Search Builder one at a time; and add each tothe Search Box.
  17. 17. Other handoutsPubMed: Basic Search, Limiting, andScientific Journal ArticlesPubMed: Working with Results ListsMy NCBI