How To Search/PubMed


  • 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 OperatorsEdit

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

Other OperatorsEdit

Syntax Example Description
"kidney allograft"
phrase search

Search FieldsEdit

"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 InterfaceEdit

  • iPubMed An interface allowing interactive and fuzzy search

Other FeaturesEdit

An excellent PubMed tutorial can be found at

External linksEdit

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