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Searching PubMed

Quick Tips to Get Started

1. PubMed via the Medical Center Library

Access PubMed from the Duke Medical Center Library website to make sure you can access all the full text articles Duke pays for. 

2. Get it@Duke

Use the Get it @ Duke button to access articles, for anyone with a NetD and password.

3. Result Filters

Use Duke-specific filters on the left side of the search results page to quickly limit the number of articles in your results and exclude irrelevant things. 

4. Advanced Search

Use the advanced search page to view past searches, combine searches, and run more specific searches.  

5. MyNCBI account

Save searches or results in PubMed by using a MyNCBI account. Set up email alerts on a topic, author, or journal table of contents.,  exporting items to a citation manager, or emailing items.

6. Save your Search

Save search strategies with a My NCBI account and get newly published results emailed to you.  

7. MeSH Database

Use the MeSH Database to look up terms for subject headings to make your searches more precise. 

8. Clinical Queries

Use the Clinical Queries from the PubMed homepage (or from the filters to the left of your results) to quickly find the evidence on a topic. 

9. Citation Matcher

Use the Single Citation Matcher to quickly find the article that matches a citation of interest. 

10. Ask Us

Contact the Medical Center Library for assistance with any of these topics or other aspects of searching PubMed. 

What are MeSH Terms?

MeSH stands for Medical Subject Headings. These are the list of standard terms added by indexers (humans and/or computers) to the article record to help improve search results. Note: not all articles will get MeSH terms.

National Library of Medicine indexers examine articles and assign the most specific MeSH headings that describe the concepts discussed. As many MeSH headings as needed are assigned to cover the topics of the article (generally 5 to 15). When there is no specific heading for a concept, the indexer will use the closest, general heading available.

Subheadings (come after the MeSH term with a /slash) can also be assigned to further describe a particular aspect of a MeSH concept. Examples of Subheadings in this list are: etiology, prevention & control, adverse effects, instrumentation, physiopathology, and surgery. They also assign terms that reflect the characteristics of the group being studied: the age group, human or other animal, male or female. And anything with a star means this concept is seen as a major focus of the article.

PubMed automatically tries to find you MeSH terms when you search. You can check on this on the Advanced Search page. Alternatively, you can search for MeSH terms for your search by going to MeSH database in PubMed from the PubMed homepage or using the link below:

(Content adapted from NLM PubMed Tutorial)