The University of San Francisco: Gleeson Library
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Searching PubMed

What is PubMed?

PubMed is a database that covers the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the healthcare system, and pre-clinical sciences. It contains over 20 million citations and abstracts for articles published in thousands of U.S. and international biomedical journals. PubMed is a service of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and is updated on a weekly basis. 


How do I get to it?

Click on this link:


From the library's home page at, click on Databases. Under "Subjects" select Nursing & Health Science. Click on Journal and Newspaper Articles. Click on PubMed.

Does PubMed have the full text of articles?

No. PubMed has citations and abstracts only.

How do I access the full text of an article?

Click on the title of the article to display the full record, then click on the USF Find Full Text icon to determine if USF has the full text of the article.

Click to watch a brief instructional video on using USF Find Full Text

How do I start searching?

Enter your keyword(s) and click "Search." To search for a phrase (such as "prostate cancer treatment") enclose your phrase in quotation marks.
When combining keywords with an operator (AND, OR, NOT), capitalize all letters of the operator.

PubMed Basics

How can I create a more focused, topic specific search?

Use Medical Subject Heading Terms (MeSH Terms).
MeSH terms are like labels that are applied to every article included in Medline. These labels tell you exactly what an article is about.

 To do a MeSH search:

From the PubMed homepage look under "More Resources" for the "MeSH Database" link.
Click on this link. Enter your term into the MeSH search bar.
Click Search.
Select the box next to the MeSH term that most closely matches your concept of interest.
Click "Add to Search Builder"
Click "Search PubMed.

Using MeSH terms to Search PubMed

How can I limit my search? 

Enter your search term in the search box, click search.
From the result screen, use the filters along the left side of the page.

If a specific filter is not displayed, click on "Show additional filters."
Select the filters you want displayed by clicking the check box.
To activate the filter, click on it once it is displayed in the side bar. 

How can I organize, save or email my search results?

Select the box next to the citations you are interested in.
Click the "Send To" button. 
To hold results while you continue to search select "Clipboard"
To email results select "Email." You can also email the contents of your clipboard.
To save results as a text file, select "File."

Where do I go for more help? View PubMed tutorials created by the National Library of Medicine:
Or contact a librarian for further assistance: