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, 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.
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.
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.
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
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:
1. Click the Advanced link under the search box on the PubMed homepage, as well as under the search box within results pages.
2. Use the menu to the left of the search box to select the field you wish to search, then enter your search terms. If entering more than one field search, use the Add dropdown menu to the right of the search box and select the the Boolean operator that will connect the search terms. As you add search terms, they will appear in the Query box. You can also manually combine search terms in the Query box.
3. Below the Advanced search builder is History and search details of your current PubMed session searches. You can include previous search terms by clicking the three dots in the Actions column to the left of the query.
4. Once you have completed the advanced search, the full PubMed search query will be visible in the Details column in the History and Search Details portion of the advanced search page.
AND retrieves results that include all the search terms.
OR retrieves results that include at least one of the search terms.
NOT excludes the retrieval of terms from your search.
PubMed displays a filter column to the left of search results. Default filter options are article type, text availability (if you are currently affiliated with LSU SVM, do not use the text availability options as these will limit to citations for articles that are open access), publication date, and article attribute. Click Additional filters link to see all filter options.
Filters remain selected until the selected filter is unselected or the browser data is cleared.
For more information about filters, see the filters section of the PubMed User Guide.