BML Database Guides: PubMed

This page lists information about using PubMed for UCSD users. In addition to the tools listed below, we also offer Classes and individual or group Consultations on using PubMed.

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Rule # 1: Use the UCSD Link to PubMed!
Always use our link to PubMed rather than the generic address. Our link does two things for you:


UC E-Links icons: these buttons show in Abstract, AbstractPlus and Citation display formats. UC e-Links lets you link to the full text of the article if it's available, and also features links to our catalog to check for print holdings, a request form you can use if we don't have the item at UCSD, a help form, as well as tools for copying the citation to your computer for use with a word process or citation management tool like RefWorks. More about UC E-Links

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PubMed has an ordering function, via the Send To button. Normally, orders are sent to a service called Loansome Doc. When you use the UCSD link to PubMed, those orders are redirected and come to us for processing.

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UCSD Research in PubMed
Try this handy tool written by former UCSD medical student Gautam Bahl to search PubMed for UCSD-authored papers. Useful for finding potential collaborators, mentors, advisors or experts.


User Guides and Tips etc. from the UCSD Libraries

  • Getting to Full-Text Articles from Your PubMed Search (PDF)
    Learn to determine whether UCSD owns particular journals, and how to order articles from journals not owned at UCSD via CDL Request.
  • Finding and Using MeSH Terms (PDF)
    Find out how to use the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) vocabulary to get better search results.
  • EndNote and PubMed (PDF)
    Describes how to save items from PubMed for use with the popular EndNote program, used for managing large bibliographies and assisting with manuscript writing.
  • PubMed and RefWorks (PDF)
    Describes how to save items from PubMed for use with RefWorks, used for managing bibliographies and assisting with paper writing.
  • Tip: UC E-Links problems? There are some journals that PubMed and UC E-Links can't link to directly. UC E-Links lets you search the UCSD Libraries catalog Roger to see if we own a journal, but some users find it easier to open a second window with the ROGER catalog. This makes it easy to flip back and forth to check on all of our holdings. ROGER accepts official PubMed abbreviations for many journal titles, so you can just copy and paste the journal names from PubMed into the Title search in ROGER. Click to open a ROGER Journal Title search in a second window.
  • Tip: the most recent citations in PubMed have not been analyzed for subject, age group, etc., so for the VERY most recent articles, base your current awareness search on title/text words, authors, and/or journal name only, and avoid limits like age group, human/animal, language, or publication type.


MyNCBI: Current Awareness and Personalization
Through PubMed's MyNCBI service, you can save searches, filters, and set up automatic e-mail alerts on Pubmed searches. Tutorial available.

  • If you select HTML delivery AND if you also started your search using the UC link to PubMed, you will get UC E-Links buttons embedded in your e-mail - this can be very handy for linking to the full text.
  • If you intend to import these items into EndNote or other bibliographic management program, select the MEDLINE display format when you are setting up your alert.
  • You cannot EDIT saved searches, but you can re-run a saved search, change it, and re-save it, and then delete the original one.
  • If you already use RSS reader to keep up with news sites, you can save a PubMed search as an RSS feed without signing up for MyNCBI.


Mobile Tools

  • PubMed Handheld
    Non-graphical interface for PubMed designed for handhelds. Now includes a PICO-based search.
  • NLM Mobile Apps - PubMed and many more.
  • PubMed Text Search
    This is just a plain text version of PubMed. It may work in most PDA Web browsers, but isn't specially formatted for PDA.


Third Party Interfaces to PubMed

  • HubMed
    This is an alternative interface to PubMed that lets you save searches as RSS alerts, offers a Firefox search plugin for PubMed, and other nifty things.
  • PubGet
    All about getting full text. Search options are not as robust as native PubMed, but if you are looking for articles that are likely to be in our online journal collections, this can get you there faster. PubGet does know about UCSD's online subscriptions.
  • More Third-Party Tools (Wikipedia)


Materials from the National Library of Medicine

  • PubMed Tutorial
    Tutorial provided by the National Library of Medicine, creators of PubMed. Useful for search tips, but does not cover getting to full text or other UC e-Links features.
  • PubMed Manuals from NLM
    This page has the full manuals and workbooks used by National Library of Medicine staff in their full-day PubMed classes. They are very long and detailed, available in Word and PDF formats.