How to Search in PubMed® Created by Patricia Mejía LS5473.20 Summer 2012
Step 1The easiest way to start asearch is by clearly identifyingwhat is it you need or want toinvestigate. In other words,what is the objective of yoursearch?The objective provides detailsabout the research topic.Sample:I need to find articles onnutrition behavior inadolescents.
Step 2Look for a database thatoffers research articlesbased on the topic you havechosen. Make sure yourfindings include:•Clinical studies•Systematic reviewsThe following databases areideal for evidence-basedresearch:•PubMed•CINHAL•Medline
Step 3Identify Subject Headingterms for your research topic.Databases index subjectheading terms differently.Databases such as PubMed,CINHAL, and Medline usemedical subject heading, orMeSH, terms.MeSH terms for your researchtopic could be identified bygoing to the National Libraryof Medicine (NLM) website,http://www.nlm.nih.gov/
Step 4Query: nutrition behaviorin adolescentsAt the NCBI webpage, selectMeSH from the drop menu andtype each key word separatelyin order to identify individualsubject headings for each term.As you identify the appropriateMeSH term, perform a PubMedsearch by clicking ‘Add tosearch builder’ and ‘SearchPubMed’ boxes which are atthe top right hand corner of thescreen.
Step 5Once you have identifiedeach query term, found itsMeSH equivalent andperformed a PubMedsearch, go to ‘Advanced.’A new window shall openand you can perform yourfirst major searchcombining all three MeSHterms identified.
Step 6It is likely you will retrievean exceedingly large numberof records. It is convenientfor you to begin to ‘filter’your results to a reasonableamount .You may apply filters thatwill limit articles within aspecific date range, articletype and full-textavailability.
Step 7Once you have reduced yoursearch to a reasonablenumber of records, you mayselect those which will beuseful.If you notice the screenshot,the number of records werereduced from 125 to 24 by:•selecting only free full textavailability•filtering for date range 2007– 2012•choosing only clinical trialsand systematic reviews
Step 8Once you have reviewedand selected those articlesthat are pertinent to yoursearch, you can store yourselection. Storing thearticles of your choice iseasy. This can be done intwo ways.You may select the recordsyou need and send them to‘Clipboard,’ which willtemporarily store themduring the time you areperforming the search.
Step 9Records could be storedpermanently by sending themto ‘My Bibliography.’ At thetime you are done selectingyour favorites, send them to‘My Bibliography’ instead of‘Clipboard’.In order to save them in yourbibliography, you need tocreate a NCBI user account.
Step 10Select the best articles andsend them to ‘My Bibliography.’A new window will openrequiring for you to login.Once logged in, follow the stepsto save the articles in yourbibliography.This application will allow youto save searches in your profileand may access them at a latertime or even create a publicURL.