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PubMed (Database Instruction)

This guide will assist you in using PubMed's new interface. PubMed is a free database that contains more than 30 million citations and abstracts of peer-reviewed biomedical literature.

Advanced Character Mapping

Advanced Character mapping allows special characters to be used to formulate Boolean operations and advanced searching including: 

  • parentheses ( ) - nest boolean phrases   Ex. (drug OR alcohol) AND abuse
  • square brackets [ ] - search field tag qualification   Ex. Smith J [au]
  • ampersand & - Boolean operator AND   Ex. Family & Nursing
  • pipe | - Boolean operator OR   Ex. drug | alcohol | substance
  • forward slash / - MeSH/Subheading combinations
  • colon : - indicates a range operation   Ex. 2010:2020
  • double quotes "..." - phrase search   Ex. "intensive care unit"   Note: using double quotes will negate any term mapping
  • pound sign (followed by a number) #1 - designates a History search statement   Ex. #1 AND cancer
  • asterisk * - wildcard symbol for search term truncation   Ex. Nurs* = nurse, nurses, nursing, nursery, etc.

More about character use in PubMed