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PubMed: Tutorials and Search Tips

PubMed Tutorials

The most comprehensive set of tutorials for PubMed are straight from the source - The National Library of Medicine.  NLM has created both print documentation as well as a YouTube channel.  Want to search like a pro?  Study the tutorials to enhance your skills.

Using Filters to Limit or Expand Your Search

Journal Abbreviations

Not sure if you are correctly typing out an abbreviated journal in PubMed?  Hover your mouse over the name of the journal to view the full title.  Unfortunately, the EBSCO database doesn't recognize PubMed abbreviations.  If you want to browse a specific journal title in these resources you will need to know the full title.

View Pubmed journal abbreviations

Clinical Queries

Clinical Queries is a  tool designed to answer clinical questions and is useful for evidence-based medicine queries.  The results are limited to specific clinical research, systematic reviews, and medical genetics.

Under "PubMed Tools" (in the center column of the screen) select "Clinical Queries"

Your results will display in three columns showing 5 results in each category.  Click on “See all” at the bottom of each column to see the full results.

Clinical Studies results can be filtered by:


Medical Genetics results can be filterred by:

MeSH (Medical Subject Headings)

PubMed can be searched by keyword, MeSH subject terms, author, title and/or a combination of these means.  Use any of these quick start guides to improve your search techniques. 

If you want to search like a pro, you have to understand MeSH (Medical Subject Headings). Read this web based tutorial or watch the video below to help you get started.

MeSH in Depth

Branching Out: The MeSH® Vocabulary

This 11-minute video is an introduction to the development, structure and use of the MeSH® vocabulary. The video may be of particular interest to searchers of MEDLINE®/PubMed®, and is used in the PubMed search classes offered by NLM and the National Library of Medicine Training Center.

Are you Submitting an Article for Publication? Need MeSH?

Screen capture of the MeSH on Demand homepage

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