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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.

Search Results















1. Click the logo at any time to clear your search and return to the homepage

2. Edit, remove (click X), and redo your search using the basic search box

3. Click on the title to view further details about a result. (More about Result details)

4. Use Filters to refine your search results (More about Filters)
















1. Go to Advanced Search Builder and access the History and Search Details functions. (More about Advanced Search Builder; More about History and Search Details)

2. Click the checkboxes beside the search result and apply these actions:   Note: if you don't check any, the action will be applied to all.

  • Save - save results to a .txt file
  • Email - email results to an email address
  • Send to - send results to Clipboard (My NCBI), My bibliography (My NCBI), Collections (My NCBI), or Reference Manager
    Ex. Use 'Send to: Reference Manager' to create a file to import into RefWorks. (More about PubMed Citation; More about My NCBI)

3. Click Display options to change the Sort (ex. Best match, most recent, etc.), the summary display, number of results displayed, etc.

4. Click Cite to get a popup with a citation (the style can be changed at the bottom of the box) (More about PubMed Citation)
    Click Share to get a permalink back to this result.

Results Details













1. Article type - gives a designation for the type of publication, ex Review, Systematic Review, Clinical trial, books, etc.

2. Citation information - is the details about the article - its journal name, issue, and volume number, etc. The Journal is also hyperlinked; click to access search actions. 

Title - Titles are in bold font (titles in square brackets are in a language other than English)

3. Authors - are hyperlinked, click to see all articles by that particular author. PubMed will convert the name to the best option to find the most results. As we discussed on an earlier slide, sometimes there is a variation on names from article to article. 

4. Affiliations (click + to expand) - can give a better understanding of where this article is coming from. A good article will be affiliated with trusted organizations such as hospitals, research universities, and so on. This information can also help determine WHERE the article came from. ex. if it's affiliated with Kyoto University, it's likely not a Canadian source.

5. Identification numbers - there are a number of IDs that can be applied to an article in PubMed. You can use these IDs to come directly back to this article; each is unique. PMID (PubMed ID) and PMCID (PubMed Central ID) are unique to PubMed, here you will also find the DOI (Digital Object Identifier) 

PubMed Central - if this article were included in the PMC collection we would see the notification "Free PMC Article" following the identification numbers. 

Abstract - beneath all this identifying information lays the abstract - note: not all articles have an abstract.


On the right-hand sidebar, we have some more tools.

6. Full-text links - here will be links (buttons) to the:

  • Source publication (ex. BMJ), 

  • PubMed Central (if the article is in that collection) 

  • RRC Library if we have the article in another of our collections - this link is coming soon

7. Actions 

  • Click Cite to get a popup with a citation (the style can be changed at the bottom of the box) (More about PubMed Citation)

  • Clicking Favorite will save this article into your favorites (My NCBI).

8. Share

  • Click on a social media link (Twitter, Facebook) to share on your personal media account

  • Click the Permalink (Links) icon to access the permalink for this result.

9. Page Navigation - use the interactive table of contents to jump to various sections of the page

10. Prev / Next - to the left and right of the page you will see options to advance to the next or previous result. Hovering over this link will give you a quick preview of where you will go if you click the link. These links move with the page as you scroll.


Following the abstract is some useful information.





















1. Similar articles - these articles may have similar combinations of keywords, authors, and/or titles. PubMed suggests that they may be related to your topic.

2. Cited by - these are the papers that have used THIS paper as a source (it will show up in their reference lists)

3. Publication types; click to access search actions. 

4. MeSH terms related to this paper; click to access search actions. This is a great opportunity to explore related terms that can be added to your search refining your results further. (More about MeSH)

Make a recommendation

Do you have a title to recommend for our collection? Use the Suggest a Purchase form to suggest a book, video or journal.

Are you an RRC Polytech staff or student with suggestions or feedback that can help improve this guide? Please contact this guide's author on the "Getting Started" page.