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All About PubMed

Step 1: Enter Your Terms  

Type any keyword or phrase into the Search box. Use an asterisk (*) to retrieve variations on a word, e.g., bacter* retrieves bacteria, bacterium, bacteriophage, etc.

  • For a Simple (Subject) Search Watch Video: Enter one or more words (e.g., asthma drug therapy) in the Search box and click on Search. PubMed automatically "ANDs" (combines) terms together so that all terms or concepts are present, and it translates your words into MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) terms.
  • For an Author Search Watch Video: Enter the author's name in the format of last name first followed by initials (e.g., byrnes ca) in either the Search box or search by Author on the Advanced Search Builder page.
  • For a Journal Search Watch Video : To retrieve articles from a specific journal, use the [Journal] tag in the search box, search the NLM catalog, or use the Single Citation Matcher features (both available on the PubMed homepage).

Use Boolean operators (AND, OR, and NOT) to combine topics in the Search box. Boolean operators should be entered in UPPERCASE and are processed from left to right. Change the order by using parentheses.

Example: osteoporosis AND (drug therapy OR exercise)  

If desired, use the Search Builder feature on the Advanced Search page.


Step 2: Click on the Search Button to Run Your Search


Step 3: Set Your Filters Watch Video

Use the sidebar filters to restrict your results by text availability, article type, year/publication date, species, article language, sex, and age.

  • To add additional filter categories to the sidebar, click the “Additional filters” button and select the additional categories.

  • When filters are selected, a Filters applied message will display on the results page.

  • Note: Filters remain in place until you change or remove them. Limits other than language or date will exclude NEW records that are "in process" or "supplied by Publisher."
  • To turn off filters, click either the “Clear all” link or the "Reset all filters" to remove all the filters or the individual filter.







Step 4: View Your Results

At the top of your results list, you will see the Filters applied for your search. Click on the Clear all link to move to that set. 

PubMed citations (more on how to read citations here) are displayed in Summary format, 10 at a time. Under display options, you can change the format (i.e., Summary, Abstract, PubMed, PMID), change the number of results per page, and show/hide abstract snippets. You can sort by Best match, Most recent, Publication date, First author, and Journal. You can also change the display for all or selected citations.

Summary format
Short bibliographic citation.
Abstract format
Bibliographic citation plus an abstract of the article and the first 5 Related Articles. Use also for links to full text.
PubMed format
Full citation tagged with field labels. Use for importing into bibliographic citation programs such as EndNote and RefWorks.
PMID format
A PMID is the unique identifier number used in PubMed for each article.

After displaying your search results, view single records by clicking on the title of the article or mark a set of references by clicking on the boxes to the left of each citation.

Click on the Sort by button to change the order of your results. The default order in PubMed is Best Match, but you can also sort by Most Recent, Publication Date, First Author, and Journal. 

Click on the Per page button to increase the number of citations per page (up to 200).

Step 5: Connect to Full Text, or Email Your Citation List 


Links to Full-text Documents: To find full-text articles, enter PubMed from the JABSOM Library homepage and use the Find it button to link to full-text.

A new page will open with the link to your full-text article. If there is no full text, a link for interlibrary loan will be displayed.  

E-mail: Send your results by e-mail. From the Send To link, select E-mail, choose Format, Sort order, add email and additional information, and click the E-mail button. 

Citation Manager:  To send citations to EndNote, Zotero, etc., select Citation Manager under Send to. For more information, see the Export to Citation Managers tab.

Clipboard: The Clipboard acts as a temporary holding file for all citations collected during your online session. Use the Send to button to save to Clipboard. Click on the Clipboard link under the Search bar to retrieve all citations on your Clipboard.  Results on the Clipboard will be lost after 8 hours of inactivity. 

Step 6: Document Your Strategy

Go to the History section on the Advanced Search screen. Either print the screen(s) using your browser or, to avoid copying the entire Advanced Search screen, copy and paste the Search History into a document for future reference.

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