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PubMed Tutorial

Note: A new PubMed, being developed at PubMed Labs, will soon (target early 2020) replace the current PubMed. See the NLM Technical Bulletin for details.


PubMed is a free resource that provides access to MEDLINE, the National Library of Medicine database of citations and abstracts in the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, health care systems, and preclinical sciences.

Goals and Objectives

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Understand PubMed's scope and content.
  • Understand how the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) are used to describe and retrieve citations.
  • Build a search using MeSH and PubMed search tools.
  • Manage your results and save records of interest.
  • Save your search strategies.
  • Link to or order full-text articles.
  • Link to related resources.

If you’re new to PubMed, we recommend that you go through the modules in order. Experienced users should visit and revisit individual modules as needed.

For brief tutorials on specific topics, see also the PubMed Quick Tours. See also PubMed Help for detailed instructions on specific PubMed features.

To see a list of recent PubMed changes, go to PubMed's New/Noteworthy.

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Last Reviewed: May 14, 2019