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PubMed: FAQs

Tips and instructions for finding articles in PubMed.

How do I ...

How do I get the Full-Text of an article?

Access PubMed from the Library website to see icons for VT holdings. If no icons appear, you will need to order ILLiad Interlibrary loanNOTE: Interlibrary loan access is restricted to students currently enrolled at VTCSOM, Virginia Tech or faculty and staff currently employed by Virginia Tech.

What journals are indexed in PubMed and how are they selected?

The NLM Catalog: Journals referenced in the NCBI Databases allows you to search for journals referenced in NCBI databases, including PubMed.  The Fact Sheet on MEDLINE Journal Selection tells you what criteria is used to select a journal for inclusion in the MEDLINE database.

Is MEDLINE and PubMed the same thing?

See the NLM Fact Sheet: What's the Difference Between MEDLINE and PubMed for a list of what is in PubMed beyond MEDLINE citations.

Can I save a search with PubMed?

You can save a search run in PubMed using MyNCBI, your personal space on the NLM computer.  Go to MyNCBI page for more information on saving searches and other MyNCBI services.  See PubMed Help for instructions on how to save a search as RSS feeds and creating a URL to bookmark your search.

How do I save searches and citations or create email alerts?

My NCBI is your personal space on the NLM computer system for saving searches to re-run or have mailed as automatic alerts, saving article citations as collections or bibliographies, and setting PubMed preferences.  Click on the My NCBI link at the top right of the PubMed window to get started.  Register for a free My NCBI account.    

Is there a mobile version of PubMed?

PubMed Mobile  a simplified, mobile friendly web interface to access PubMed which allows users to perform basic searches and provides the same content as Standard PubMed.  Note: PubMed Mobile does not include specialized search pages, such as Limits and Advanced search, or added features, such as My NCBI, Clipboard, or LinkOut/Outside Tool.  See NLM Technical Bulletin No. 379 for more details.

How do I find peer-reviewed articles in PubMed?

Most of the journals indexed in PubMed are peer reviewed, but there is no limiter for peer review.  Use Limits to eliminate letters, editorials etc then use Clinical Queries or Topic-Specific Queries (found on the Home page or under More Resources at the top of the Advanced Search page).  Most of what is left will be peer reviewed.  Alternatively, you can use Journals in NCBI Database (found on the Home page or under More Resources at the top of the Advanced Search page) to look up a specific journal and go to the journal site to to see if it is peer reviewed.

How to I find Help?

Help links are found at the top of all PubMed screens. For additional assistance, consult with a librarian.

How can I find a complete citation for a single article?

Use Single Citation Matcher.  The link is found at the bottom of the Home page and under More Resources at the top of the Advanced Search screen. Lets you fill in known pieces of information about a specific reference in order to retrieve the full citation.

Where can I temporarily save my citations?

Use the Clipboard.  The Clipboard acts as a temporary holding file for all citations collected during your online session. Select desired citations and use the Send to link to save to Clipboard. Click on the Clipboard link on the right side of the Results page to retrieve all citations on your Clipboard.  Results on the Clipboard will be lost after 8 hours of inactivity.

How do I save my search strategy?

Use History.  Found on the Advanced Search screen, History holds your search strategies and results from your current search session. You may combine previous searches or add additional terms to an existing search by clicking the search number to display additional options to add the search to the Builder OR using the pound sign (#) before the search number, e.g., #2 AND #6 or #3 AND drug therapy in the Builder boxes.