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SCI 1001 & SCI 1002: Writing and Research in the Sciences

This guide is here to help you with your research. Don't forget to reach out to a librarian at any time you need help!


"PubMed is a free resource developed and maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the National Library of Medicine® (NLM)."

PubMed is the standard database that is used in the healthcare profession.  It has the ability to link to full-text articles, provides advance researching including filtering and special queries and links to related articles.

The search function is extremely user-friendly and the filtering options allow for searching clinical trials, full text, and even publication dates. The search function also provides related searches and data. Once an article is selected, similar articles are included in the record. 

Citations are added daily. 

From: PubMed Fact Sheet

"Simply enter your search topics - one or more terms - and click Search. PubMed can be searched using MeSH terms, author names, title words, text words or phrases, journal names, or any combination of these.

Retrieved citations are displayed and their associated abstracts can be selected for viewing. A unique feature of PubMed is the ability to instantly find related articles for any citation.

Advanced search features and filters are also available.

A special clinical queries page provides customized searches for studies based on etiology, diagnosis, prognosis, or treatment of a particular disease. Systematic reviews of a topic and medical genetics can also be searched here. Search results can be viewed or downloaded in various formats, including a format suitable for bibliographic management software."

Basic search

Subject Search

Basic searching in PubMed works best if you enter specific search terms with no Boolean operators, tags, or punctuation. PubMed uses a process known as Automatic Term Mapping to map search terms to subjects (using medical subject headings), journals, and authors.

Once you have entered your search terms, the search query PubMed created for the search can be viewed by clicking Advanced under the search box, then in the History and Search Details area, click the arrow in the Details column to see how PubMed translated your search.


Find similar articles

From within individual article abstract pages, you can find articles that are closely related to the current article; use the Page navigation links to the right of the abstract or scroll to the Similar articles section within an abstract. Click the article title in the results list (from both summary and abstract format) to get to the individual article abstract page.

The See all similar articles link at the bottom of the Similar articles section retrieves a pre-calculated set of PubMed citations that are closely related to the original citation.  

Similar article results are not available for prepub articles.

Author search

To search for a particular author, enter just the author's last name then initials of the first name in the basic search box. Please note, some citations do include the author's full name, but for best results only use the author's first name initials.

Example: Mcilwraith, cw returns results authored by Wayne McIlwraith.

For authors with common names, find a resource by the author, then click the author's name link within the abstract page.

Journal name search

To search for citations from a particular journal, enter the complete title, ISSN number, or title abbreviation. Searching by partial title is not recommended.

Example: search for Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association by entering Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association or J Am Vet Med Assoc or 1943-569X

Sorting in PubMed

PubMed's default sorting preference is Best Match. Use the Display options menu at the top of the results to change the sort order. 



Depending on the scope of your topic, you may have a large number of search results. Filters/limiters can help narrow search results to a more manageable number of citations through which to browse. For more information, see the PubMed Filter Sidebar section of this guide.

Explore basic searching in PubMed:

Find articles on a topic

Find similar articles

Searching by author

Searching by journal

Tips for Using NLM's PubMed

Understanding your search results

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