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PubMed Search Guide

Contents of this guide

This is a general guide to searching Pubmed, the world's largest database of biomedical citaitons and abstracts. The guide includes the following:

What is PubMed?

PubMed is basically a free version of Medline.It lets you search millions of journal citations and abstracts in the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, and preclinical sciences.

It includes access to MEDLINE® and to citations for selected articles in life science journals not included in MEDLINE. PubMed also provides access to additional relevant Web sites and links to the other NCBI molecular biology resources.

PubMed was developed  and is maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), at the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), located at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

New citations are added Tuesday through Saturday.

PubMed- What's behind the name?

PubMed is not an acronym or abbreviation
It is an abbreviated form of Public/Publisher MEDLINE

  • The Med part of the name refers to the MEDLINE database, which is what PubMed searches
  • Pub refers to the free public access of MEDLINE or as publisher, since PubMed includes links to publisher web sites.


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A special thank you to Misa Mi, Medical Librarian for originally authoring this guide, to Bridget Faricy-Beredo for curating it, and Janice Flahiff for suggesting links.