What is PubMed?

  • PubMed is the web interface to the MEDLINE database. PubMed indexes the published journal literature in clinical medicine, nursing, dentistry, public health, veterinary health, allied health fields and some basic bioscience literature
  • PubMed has citations from over 5000 journals published worldwide
  • Coverage is from 1950-present

Accessing PubMed

  • Start at the Bio-Medical Library's homepage and use the PubMed tab on the search box:

PubMed search box highlighting first tab

  • Alternatively, you can use the Quicklinks to access PubMed or the A-Z listing of health indexes on the Bio-Medical Library's homepage


Searching PubMed

  • Search terms can be entered one at a time in the PubMed search box
  • Example: Let's say you want to find articles about acupuncture therapy and migrane. First, type acupuncture therapy ino the search box. Click Search:

  • Next, type migraine into the search box. Click Search
  • To combine both of these concepts together, click on the Advanced search link above the search box
  • On the Advanced search page, type the set numbers separated by the word AND to combine all searches together. The number symbol (#) must also appear in the command:

Combine sets interface

  • You can also do this from the initial search: acupuncture therapy AND migraine can be typed in the search box. Make sure to put your Boolean operator in all caps.

Applying Limits

  • Limits in PubMed include: age groups, publication date, publication language (e.g. English), species, gender and many more
  • To apply limits to a set of results, click on the options to the left of the search results.  You can choose additional limits by clicking on Show Additional Filters at the top of the list of limits.  Once you select which types of limits to show (e.g., age, publication type), you can choose the specific limits you want to apply to your search.
  • Each limit is applied after you have clicked on it.
  • Example: You want to limit the results of your acupuncture therapy and migraine results to articles published about children and in English. Here's what the results will look like:

Limits interface

  • Note: Once limits are activated in PubMed they stay active for subsequent searches. Be sure to Change and/or Remove as needed.


Displaying PubMed Results

  • The default result display in PubMed is called Summary. You will only see the citation data (authors, article title, journal name, pub date) in this format.
  • To change the display, click on the Display Settings link in the upper-left corner above the citation display. Change the setting to Abstract to see the abstract along with the citation, then click Apply:

Display settings interface


Managing Citations to Send to Printer/Email/Other Outputs

  • Click the check-box next to each citation that you would like to move out of PubMed, then click on Send to pull-down menu in upper-right corner of results to see options:

Send to interface

  • The Clipboard stores PubMed citations for up to 8 hours
  • The My Bibliography option sends citations into the My Bibliography section of My NCBI


Accessing Full-Text Articles via Find It in PubMed

  • The Find It menu takes you from PubMed and shows how the University Libraries makes the full-text of the article available (either in online or print formats)
  • The Find It button appears either below or to the right-side of each citation in the Abstract display format in PubMed
  • Find It opens as a new tab or window in your browser and shows you how to access the full-text of the article:

Find It menu


For more information on using PubMed, download our PDF guide.

Subject Specialist

Bio-Medical Library Reference Desk

2nd Floor Diehl Hall
(612) 626-3260