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 March 20, 2001 [posted]
 At Your Desktop: the PubMed® Interactive Tutorial

T 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

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 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
Overview Introduction
PubMed Overview
MeSH Vocabulary
Using PubMed PubMed's Home Page
How It Works
Search Strategy
Boolean Logic
Working with Search Results Search Results
Action Bar Selections
Features Bar Limits
Links Related Articles
NCBI Databases
PubMed Services MeSH Browser
Journal Browser
Citation Matcher
Clinical Queries
Search Field Descriptions Search Field Tags
Final Review Practice Exercises

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

By Janet R. Zipser
MEDLARS Management Section

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Zipser JR. At your Desktop: the PubMed Interactive Tutorial. NLM Tech Bull. 2001 Mar-Apr;(319):e2.


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Last updated: 11 April 2012