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PubMed (EN): Get going

What is PubMed?

The search engine PubMed contains over 24 million biomedical references from the MEDLINE database. In one go, you can search over 5600 life science journals from 80 countries as well as online books. Coverage runs from 1946 onwards. PubMed is updated on a daily basis.

PubMed is produced and updated daily by the  U.S. National Library of Medicine

Use PubMed for?

PubMed is used to find biomedical articles. PubMed only searches a few Dutch journals.

To find additional European biomedical literature Embase is the preferred source. See ‘Finding more biomedical references’ in this LibGuide.

Reader's guide

  • Get going: the most relevant tips
  • Find out more: theory, special cases and remarkable facts
  • Info elsewhere: links to related LibGuides, useful websites and news
  • Train yourself: extensive PubMed training
  • Feedback and contact: for if you have any questions or suggestions

What is the most convenient way to access PubMed?

Access to PubMed is free, but to make the most of the links to the full text articles you need to access PubMed via the Utrecht University Library website. If you do so, you will find the ubulink next to each reference. This will bring you directly to the full text, if available. Older volumes which are not online yet and are housed in the depots of the University Library may be requested via the catalogue. For this you need a library card.

PubMed offers

PubMed offers:

  • Extensive search filters, for instance for clinical questions (Clinical Queries)
  • Simple filters to limit the number of search results
  • Links to other citations or information, such as links to related articles
  • Single Citation Matcher
  • The possibility to save sets with articles and have searches automatically updated

What is MesH?

  MeSH is the controlled list of keywords in PubMed.
  MeSH is short for Medical Subject Heading.
  Keywords are connected in a hierarchic structure. 
  This list helps you to specify your search in PubMed.
  All MeSH categories

Effective use of PubMed

  • Think you know all about PubMed? Take the quiz (in Dutch) and test yourself here!
  • A special training module for the biomedical disciplines is included under the tab Train yourself in this LibGuide
  • For an efficient search in PubMed you need to be well prepared. If you start searching haphazardly you often get too many hits which will  bear hardly or no relevance to your question. We have a special LibGuide Search Strategy   LibGuide Zoekstrategie (in Dutch) (in Dutch!) which you could study in advance. Especially in the case of extensive searches the first blow is half the battle!

Facts

  • Default combination of search terms: AND
  • Default order of results: chronological
  • In Advanced Search: autofill options: directly to the right author, journal etc.
  • Shortening the search term to the word stem with an asterisk (*)
  • List with approximately 5600 titles
  • Decision rounds about including new titles: three times a year

Search on both MeSH and [tiab]

The right search combines:

Keywords [MeSH]: by which you also find references without abstracts (depending on the subject the number  can run up to ca. 50 percent)

and

Title/Abstract [tiab]: by which you also find the most recent references to which keywords have not been added yet.