Learn to use PubMed, the National Library of Medicine's premiere search engine for biomedical literature. More than 18 million citations from life science journals can be searched through this free service. Topics as diverse as medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, health care and preclinical sciences are covered in PubMed. It is one of NCBI's Entrez databases, and so many many handy tools and links are offered. You can quickly access related information in a variety of fields and can customize your results, for example. Improve the efficiency and accuracy of your searches with simple strategies and tips that you will find in this tutorial.

You will learn:

  • basic, advanced, and Boolean search methods
  • additional searching methods like the Entrez Global query and the MeSH query
  • tips to understand the visual cues and displays
  • to use My NCBI to customize your results and save searches which can be run and emailed regularly


This tutorial is a part of the tutorial group Text-related tools. You might find the other tutorials in the group interesting:

PubMatrix: PubMatrix, an on-line tool for multiplex literature mining of the PubMed database.

iHOP: Information Hyperlinked Over Proteins text mining resource

STRING: known and predicted protein-protein interactions

Textpresso: Text-mining the biological literature

Gene Ontology: Gene Ontology controlled vocabularies in biology

XplorMed: eXploring Medline abstracts

GoMiner: Ascribe biological significance to large lists of genes by annotating them with their corresponding GO categories

Controlled Vocabularies: Standardized term lists that can enhance interactions with biological databases

DAVID: A tool that analyzes large lists of genes to provide biological meaning

Entrez Overview: Overview of NCBI's Entrez Search Resource


Literature and Text Mining : Tools which are related to scientific literature. Repositories, query tools, and mining resources are included.

Variation & Medical : Resources that include information about sequence variation, phenotypes, or medically-relevant conditions.

NCBI : This category includes resources maintained at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).


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Video Tip of the Week: the New PubMed Filters Sidebar : In today's tip I am linking to a YouTube video from NCBI that briefly explains the new Filters Sidebar feature that has been added to PubMed. We first saw a tweet that the change was coming back on Ma...

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Recent BioMed Central research articles citing this resource

MacWalter Gordon et al., Utilisation of internet resources for continuing professional development: a cross-sectional survey of general practitioners in Scotland Career choice, professional education and development. BMC Medical Education (2016) doi:10.1186/s12909-016-0540-5

Pratt L. Anna et al., What are we measuring? A critique of range of motion methods currently in use for Dupuytren’s disease and recommendations for practice Orthopedics and biomechanics. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders (2016) doi:10.1186/s12891-016-0884-3

Taha Kamal et al., Predicting the functions of a protein from its ability to associate with other molecules Knowledge-based analysis. BMC Bioinformatics (2016) doi:10.1186/s12859-016-0882-3

van Leijen-Zeelenberg E. Janneke et al., The impact of redesigning care processes on quality of care: a systematic review Quality, performance, safety and outcomes. BMC Health Services Research (2016) doi:10.1186/s12913-016-1266-0

van Beusekom Ilse et al., Reported burden on informal caregivers of ICU survivors: a literature review. Critical Care (2016) doi:10.1186/s13054-016-1185-9