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FAQ: Finding Medical Information in MEDLINE

Question: What is MEDLINE, and how do I use it to find information?



  • a huge database of more than 22 million references to articles published in approximately 5,600 current biomedical journals from the United States and over 80 foreign countries
  • a database you can search free using the NLM PubMed system at
  • for finding references on specific medical topics using either keywords or Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)
  • for references to articles published in the 1940's - to the present as converted from Current List of Medical Literature (CLML)

For more information, see:

  • MEDLINE Fact Sheet
  • MeSH Fact Sheet

If you do not have Internet access:

  • check to see if your local library provides access to MEDLINE
  • contact the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) Regional Medical Libraries at 800-338-7657 for suggestions if your local library cannot help you

We encourage you to discuss your MEDLINE search results with your health care provider.

Related Questions:
What is PubMed?

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