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PubMed, from Beginner to Advanced: Home

Introduction to Pubmed

Pubmed is one of the most useful professional resources for nurses, doctors, and health sciences research. Pubmed is a U.S. government website operated by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), which provides an online index of articles published in most of the credible and authoritative biology and health sciences journals published in the United States, Europe, and the world. The database now contains almost 25 million articles with abstracts, links to the original full-text source where available (see note below), and subject terms selected by experts in biomedical literature.

Pubmed is a sophisticated resource but is relatively straightforward to use. This guide includes short online videos (between 1 and 4 minutes) created by the NLM and other organizations which summarize key features related to searching, filtering, and refining literature searches. The videos have been categorized into basic, intermediate, and advanced topics, organized in a sequence that builds on and incorporates gfeatures demonstrated in previous vidoes. Use the Contents panel (on the left of the page) or the tabs (above) to work learn about the different features. Start with Basic Pubmed: How Search Works and continue as far as you wish!

Most of the videos are also available on YouTube- if you are viewing this site on a mobile device or tablet, some of the embedded videos might not be available because of platform restrictions.

Note about Full-Text of Articles

While Pubmed is available freely on the web, it is an index and not a full-text database, so does not include a lot of complete articles. An index provides information about the articles, including a brief abstract describing the content and conclusions of an article, specific subject terms related to the article content, and where available, links to original journal sources. Publisher links are mostly to subscription sites and will require substantial fees per article.

However, we have linked Holy Family's subscriptions to this service, and if you use this custom link to Pubmed you will be able to access the original articles where we have a subscription through a library database or specific journal subscription. Look for the Holy Family logo when you read the abstract of an article, and click on it to connect to the full article.

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