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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.

Basic Search

PubMed's Main or basic search is fairly straightforward - but it isn’t so basic. As we discussed, PubMed has some sophisticated algorithms working in the background to help you search (More about PubMed's Searching). Because of these algorithms, for most searches, you will not need to use quotations around phrases or boolean operators - in fact using quotations may negatively impact your search results as it prevents Automatic Term Mapping from working.  (More about Phrase searching)

Use this search for basic topic searching (ex. Acid Reflux) or citation searches (where you know the topic, author, journal, or more about the article you are looking for); for more complex searching we will go to the  Advanced Search Builder.



1. Type your keyword(s) into the search box. You will notice that it will try to predict your search terms.


2. Click Search to go to the Search Results Page.


Searching for a known article

One of the advantages of PubMed is its Citations Sensor feature. The feature matches the terms to known citation fields to make the best match.

Take advantage when you are looking for a particular article (not searching a broad topic) and know some information about it (ex. author, title, publication year, journal name (full or abbreviated), keywords.) 

Example: a 2018 newspaper article about Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease quoted Seo from a recent paper published in the Journal of Gastric Cancer. I want to read that article.  

undefinedEnter search terms from known values. Punctuation is not necessary.

  • Author = Seo
  • Year = 2018
  • Topic/keyword = GERD = Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
  • Journal = JGC = Journal of Gastric Cancer