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PubMed® Tutorial FAQ

Who should use the PubMed Tutorial?

Anyone who wants to learn about PubMed should try the PubMed Tutorial. We built this interactive tutorial to be useful to both the casual, first-time, PubMed searcher, as well as to the more experienced PubMed user. The first-time PubMed searcher may want to go through the entire tutorial in one session, whereas the more experienced PubMed user may want to select a certain module or topic for a quick refresher. The choice is yours. 

Can this tutorial help me learn to use PubMed?

Yes. The PubMed Tutorial is based on the one-day PubMed training course that NLM taught across the United States. Additionally, the PubMed Tutorial includes a brief introduction to the Medical Subject Headings (the NLM's controlled subject vocabulary frequently referred to as MeSH).

How much time do I need to do the PubMed Tutorial?

That is up to you. The PubMed Tutorial is designed so that you can go through the entire training program in one session or go through selected modules individually. If you do the entire program in one session and do all the reviews and practice exercises, it may take anywhere from one to several hours. If you do a selected module it may take as little as 15 minutes of your time.

What are the system requirements to use the PubMed Tutorial?

The tutorial was originally designed to work on Windows® Operating Systems with Microsoft Internet Explorer® version 6+ or with Netscape™ version 7+, and works best on Macintosh® computers using Mozilla Firefox™ or Opera™ 8+. You may encounter inconsistencies or incompatibilities between browsers, and what can work for one may not necessarily work for another.

This course contains animated demonstrations of procedures which are currently being updated for compatibility with iOS devices as well as Windows-based systems. You will need Macromedia Flash™ player version 6+ for the older material. This player can be downloaded and installed at no cost from Adobe. There are known conflicts with the Flash animations on Macintosh® computers using Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape 7.x, and on Windows 2000 using Mozilla Firefox™. If you are having difficulty with the Flash player for Unix, please check that you have the latest version of the Flash player installed and minimize the number of other applications running while you are viewing the tutorial.

The tutorial was designed for a screen resolution of 1024 x 768. Other screen resolution settings may result in the need to scroll horizontally in order to read all the information provided.

Is there a text-only version of the PubMed Tutorial without the animations?

No. You can still use the PubMed Tutorial without viewing the animations as the steps for the demonstrations are described in detail in the text content of the pages. You may prefer to use other text-based resources for learning about PubMed. For quick reference on specific features, try PubMed Help.

Does the PubMed Tutorial include practice exercises?

Yes. With the exception of the Introduction, there are review questions at the end of each module. The review questions include multiple choice questions as well as practice exercises you can try in PubMed. The last module, the Final Review, includes five practice exercises for you to do in PubMed.

How do I make suggestions to improve the PubMed Tutorial?

We ask for your feedback at the end of the Final Review module. If your Web browser is configured to send email, click on the Contact Us link within the tutorial. Otherwise, send a message to NLM's Customer Service at Contact NLM.


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