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Health & Medicine Database Search Tips: PubMed

Tips on searching some of our health and medicine databases, including how to narrow your topic, find the exact article, and request articles we don't have access to.

PubMed Links

Tips & Tools for Using PubMed

Full-Text Articles

The library uses PubMed's LinkOut Outside Tool, which is the equivalent of the links you see in ProQuest and our other databases that say check for full-text.  You should see a Madigan Library icon in every single result in PubMed.  Just click on it and it will either give you links into our other databases for the full-text article, or it will give the button to request the article on interlibrary loan.


Search Tips

  • NEVER use quotation marks around phrases or Boolean operators (AND, OR, etc.); PubMed utilizes a smart-search technology called automatic term mapping, or ATM.  ATM will "map" whatever terms you search in the broadest sense, so you will always get everything it finds on your terms, including the correct MeSH terms if you use plain language or laymans' terms
    • e.g. a search on brittle bone disease will give you the following query translation:
      "osteogenesis imperfecta"[MeSH Terms] OR ("osteogenesis"[All Fields] AND "imperfecta"[All Fields]) OR "osteogenesis imperfecta"[All Fields] OR ("brittle"[All Fields] AND "bone"[All Fields] AND "disease"[All Fields]) OR "brittle bone disease"[All Fields]
  • Use limiters (filters), such as article type, publication date, etc.
  • To see additional filters, click the link to show additional filters, then check the box next to the ones you wish to see and click show.  Once shown, you can select from those to narrow your results.  Additional filters include:
    • Article type
    • Species
    • Language
    • Sex
    • Age
  • To try and limit to nursing or dental journals, add one of the following to your search box, followed by AND and your search term(s):
    • nursing[mh]
      • e.g., nursing[mh] AND prenatal care
    • dentistry[mh]
      • e.g., dentristry[mh] AND early caries