he National Library of Medicine (NLM) is pleased to announce the debut of "PubMed Online Training," a Web-based interactive tutorial that enables anyone using a computer with Internet access to learn about PubMed. You can reach the tutorial by clicking "Tutorial" from the PubMed sidebar or by going directly to http://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/pubmed_tutorial/m1001.html.
Work on this tutorial began in the summer of 1999. The tutorial is based on the PubMed portion of NLM's Keeping Up with NLM's PubMed, the NLM Gateway and ClinicalTrials.gov course that is taught throughout the country. The interactive tutorial is useful to the casual, first-time, PubMed searcher as well as to the more experienced PubMed searcher. With this tutorial, NLM now offers training to PubMed users world-wide 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) have been developed to assist users in getting started.
The tutorial is divided into eight instructional modules. The modules are further organized by different topic areas (see the PubMed Tutorial Modules and Topics table below). The "Next" and "Previous" arrows allow users to navigate through the topics and modules. Users can either go through the entire tutorial or select individual modules for a refresher. In either case, the tutorial offers a "just-in-time" learning opportunity.
PubMed Tutorial Modules and Topics
||PubMed's Home Page|
|How It Works|
|Working with Search Results
|Action Bar Selections
|Search Field Descriptions
||Search Field Tags|
A glossary of terms is a useful feature of this tutorial. Glossary terms are highlighted throughout the text portion of the tutorial. When users click on these highlighted terms, a pop-up window will appear with the term's definition. Alternatively, the entire glossary may be browsed. Review questions and search exercises are also part of the tutorial.
The tutorial was built using Macromedia® Dreamweaver® and also uses Macromedia Flash animations for real-time interactivity to step students through various PubMed features.
While some additions, such as a module for the Cubby feature, are already in the planning stage, we encourage comments and suggestions for further refinements. Let us hear from you. Please send comments, suggestions, and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Janet R. Zipser
MEDLARS Management Section
Zipser JR. At your Desktop: the PubMed Interactive Tutorial. NLM Tech Bull. 2001 Mar-Apr;(319):e2.