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Using PubMed

Seaching PubMed

PubMed is a free research database providing access to over 30 million citations in the biomedical and life sciences literature. It is an essential tool for research in the health sciences.

Most PubMed content comes from two sources. The largest is MEDLINE, which comprises article citations from vetted journals. These citations include indexing data such as MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) to make them easier to search effectively. PubMed also includes citations from PubMed Central (PMC), an open access free full-text journal archive; not all PMC journals are vetted or indexed, but their citations appear in PubMed nonetheless.

Learn Expert Search Techniques

Search Tips for PubMed

PubMed uses Automatic Term Mapping (or ATM) to find information. Put in a few words about your topic, and let the database do the work for you!

Look for MeSH terms (Medical Subject Headings) listed with each article. You can use these to focus your research. Just click on a MeSH term to have PubMed execute a new search.

Limit your search using filters to the left of your search results. You can filter results by year, by article type such as Systematic Review or Randomized Controlled Trial, and locate more filter options using the Additional filters button at the bottom of the left-hand column.

Accessing Full-Text Articles through PubMed

Looking for the full-text of an article you found in PubMed?

  • Some of the articles are freely available in full-text. In the FULL TEXT LINKS section, use any button with "open access" or "free" to get to the entire article.
  • Other articles are available in full-text through our library. Use our Get It! @UMassD button to locate them.
  • If we don't have the article, using the Get It! @UMassD will direct you to our Interlibrary Loan (ILL) form. ILL generally takes 24-48 hours during the week.