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Biology: Searching PubMed

A guide to library resources and research in biology and the life sciences.

Search PubMed

On this page, you'll find resources to help you learn how to search PubMed efficiently and effectively. Using a link to PubMed from any of the Library's web pages or subject guides will ask you to sign in with your Northeastern credentials to connect you with full text access based on our journal subscriptions. 

Below are two tutorials on setting up search alerts in PubMed as well as an interactive tutorial walking you through the essentials of the using the database. 

Introducing New PubMed

In early 2020, PubMed updated its interface. The brief 20 minute webinar below will walk you through the new interface and some of the major changes to the database. If you have any questions, please email Alissa Link at a.link@northeastern.edu

What's the Difference Between PubMed, PMC and Medline?

Export PubMed References into EndNote

What is MeSH?

MeSH is a tagging system used to help searchers find relevant articles in PubMed. To learn more about MeSH and how to use it, check out the tutorials below. 

PubMed Clinical Queries

Looking for clinical studies?  Try PubMed's Clinical Queries search option to locate evidence-based practice citations.  Clinical Queries is divided into 3 sections:

1. Clinical Studies searches use-preset filters which allow you to quickly locate articles on etiology, diagnosis, prognosis and therapy of diseases.
    Clinical Studies offers five clinical study categories to choose from:

  • Therapy: The therapy filter will retrieve clinical studies that discuss the treatment of diseases. You will notice that therapy is the search default.
  • Diagnosis: Click on diagnosis to find clinical studies addressing disease diagnosis.
  • Etiology: Click on etiology to find clinical studies addressing causation/harm in disease and diagnostics.
  • Prognosis: Click on prognosis to find clinical studies addressing disease prognosis.
  • Clinical Prediction Guides: Click on clinical prediction guides to find clinical studies which discuss methods for predicting the likelihood of disease presence or absence.

2. Systematic Reviews cover a broad set of articles that build consensus on biomedical topics. Locate reviews on clinical trials, guidelines, meta-
    analyses, consensus development conferences.

3. Medical Genetics searches find citations and abstracts related to various topics in medical genetics. 

My NCBI Tutorial

PubMed Quick Tours

PubMed comprises more than 30 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life sciences journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from NU Libraries holdings, PubMed Central and publisher websites. For additional help, visit the online training page here: PubMed: Online training

Check out these FAQs from the National Library of Medicine on searching PubMed!

Searching PubMed

Using MeSH Terms in PubMed

Search PubMed for research by a specific author

Interactive video tutorial available here.

Search PubMed for research from a specific journal

Interactive video tutorial available here.

Finding a single citation with limited information (Using the Single Citation Matcher)

Find articles about treatment for a disease or disorder using Clinical Queries (interactive video tutorial)

Cite, Save, and Share Results