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PubMed (English): Introduction

This Libguide provides an overview of the possibilities of Pubmed for users who are familiar with the basics.

What is PubMed?

PubMed logoPubMed is a freely searchable database with citations for biomedical literature, comprising:

  • 25 million citations dating back to around 1946
  • 5600 biomedical journals

The content is managed by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) in the US.

How do I access PubMed?

The easiest way to access PubMed is by using the PubMed URLof the Central Medical Library (CMB).

Every reference then contains the that provides access to full-text articles in the CMB/UMCG collection. If the Get it! button doesn't work, please check the DOI-link (blow the abstract).

This link also enables staff members and students of the University of Groningen/UMCG to access the full-text articles at home. Users can log in with their student number, University of Groningen P number and CMB proxy account.

Overview: Searching in PubMed

1. Simple subject search
You can easily search by subject by typing the search term or terms in the search box. The automatic term mapping function includes the most suitable MeSH terms (See MeSH tab) in the search.
In order to verify that PubMed interpreted your search query correctly, consult the Search details in the right-hand column of the PubMed results screen

Watch the two short clips below for a short demonstration:

 For example, what goes wrong if you search for 'labor' (as in: giving birth)?










2. Combining MeSH and tiab
For a full search, always combine MeSH terms (See MeSH tab) with search terms in the title and/or abstract [tiab] (See Search by Word tab).

3. History & Advanced Search Builder
To consult the search history, click Advanced right below the search box. This opens the Advanced Search Builder (See Combining Search Terms tab), which enables you to build your search in a structured, step-by-step way.

4. Restricting your results with filters & Clinical Queries
Once you have combined the various components of your query into a definitive search strategy, you can start restricting your results with filters and/or Clinical Queries (See Filters & Clinical Queries tab).

PubMed search plan


Karin .Sijtsma's picture
Karin .Sijtsma
+31 (0)50 3616196
Subjects:- Medicine

Individual assistance

v.d. Werf

Staff members and students are welcome to make an appointment about search strategy for a systematic review or a CAT.

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