PubMed, a free search engine Databases

PubMed, a free search engine

Get access to extensive relevant resources through using PubMed.

PubMed is a free home- and office-based medicine resource, which has been available since 1996. It was launched and kept going by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the National Library of Medicine® (NLM). It contains more than 25 million records and includes the fields of biomedicine and health, and cover portions of the life sciences, behavioral sciences, chemical sciences, and bioengineering. PubMed links to full-text articles found in PubMed Central or at publisher websites, NCBI molecular biology resources, and other related articles.  PubMed provides advanced search and includes automatic e-mailing of search updates, the ability to save records, and filters for search results using "My NCBI", and it also includes a spell checker feature and it adds citations daily[1]. PubMed citations come from 1) MEDLINE indexed journals, 2) journals/manuscripts deposited in PMC, and 3) NCBI Bookshelf [2].

PubMed and MEDLINE:

PubMed citations often include links to the full-text articles on the publishers' websites and/or in PMC and the Bookshelf. Medline is the greater subset (about 98%) of PubMed which is limited to a more controlled subset which was made available by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) to commercial suppliers. MEDLINE includes citations from more than 5,600 scholarly journals published around the world, and it covers subjects related to medical and biomedical sciences. Newly published articles before being indexed and included in the Medline subset which can take several months are available as temporary citations in PubMed. In addition to the comprehensive journal selection process, what sets MEDLINE apart from the rest of PubMed is the added value of using the NLM controlled vocabulary, and to index citations [3].

A few notes about the PubMed journal list:

  • The list is offered in different formats.
  • The records are not in alphabetical order.
  • Full journal title names may contain initial grammar articles (e.g., The, An, A) which may affect the use of these data for searching and filing purposes.
  • MedAbbr is a short form of the full journal title; it is assigned whether the title is a MEDLINE journal or not [4].

PubMed is Easy to Use

Search in PubMed is so easy, you can just simply enter your search topics - one or more terms - and click Search. MeSH terms, author names, title words, text words or phrases, journal names, or any combination of these can be used to search in PubMed. Retrieved citations are shown and related abstracts can be chosen for viewing. The most exclusive feature of PubMed is its ability to find related articles for any citation immediately.

Advanced search features and filters are also available. There is a special clinical queries page providing customized searches for studies related to etiology, diagnosis, prognosis, or treatment of a particular disease. You can also search systematic reviews of a topic and medical genetics here. Various formats including suitable formats for bibliographic management software are available for viewing or downloading the results.

By using LinkOut feature of PubMed, you can get access to an extensive deposit of relevant web-accessible online resources which contains full-text publications, biological databases, consumer health information, research tools, and more. To access the full text, you may be just needed to register, or there may be a required fee or subscription [5].