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Database & Resource Help

Tutorials & information for ATSU's subscribed online resources

What is PubMed?

PubMed, from the US National Library of Medicine, is the core biomedical research resource and contains well over 27 million citations and abstracts to medical, nursing, dental, veterinary, health care, and preclinical sciences journal articles. Many articles are Open Access, and thus available to all, and the ATSU community can get access to many more via ATSM Library subscriptions.

PubMed includes:

  • the MEDLINE® database;
  • citations for articles in the PubMed Central (PMC) free full text archive, including articles that report on research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH);
  • and citations for books from the NCBI online Bookshelf (

PubMed includes links to the full text from other sources, when available, such as the publisher’s website, the PubMed Central (PMC) archive, and subscriptions by your organization or local medical library, if they participate. PubMed also contains a large amount of open-access articles, making it a great resource to use after you graduate and throughout your career.

While the amount of videos on this page may seem overwhelming, most of the videos are only 3-4 minutes long, and include interactive components to give you hands-on experience using PubMed.

PubMed Basics

Advanced PubMed Searching

What are MeSH terms?

MeSH is:

  • the U.S. National Library of Medicine's controlled vocabulary (thesaurus).
  • a vocabulary that gives uniformity and consistency to the indexing and cataloging of biomedical literature.
  • a distinctive feature of MEDLINE.
  • arranged in a hierarchical manner called the MeSH Tree Structures.
  • updated annually.

NNLM has broken the video down into sections, so if you'd like to jump to one just use the times below to find the area you'd like to watch:

  • 0:00​ Start
  • 0:35​ Agenda
  • 1:01​ MeSH Definition
  • 2:25​ Entry Terms
  • 6:53​ How are MeSH terms applied to a citation?
  • 7:55​ MeSH Structure
  • 18:55​ Four Types of MeSH Terms
  • 20:28​ Headings
  • 20:44​ Subheadings
  • 23:56​ Major Topic
  • 26:27​ Publication Types
  • 28:31​ Supplementary Concepts
  • 32:57​ Components of a MeSH Record
  • 33:54​ Two dates for a MeSH Term

Additional PubMed Features

Additional Help

Effective Searching with PubMed

  1. Access PubMed via the Library’s web site in order to have access to the full text of Library subscriptions.
  2. Break your search into component concepts and enter terms for each concept in separate search boxes.
  3. Use Advanced search to get multiple search boxes and the index list.
  4. Change Display Setting to “Abstract”, and apply
  5. Review abstracts and send relevant citations to Clipboard
  6. For the most relevant citations, click on Related Articles and send to Clipboard additional relevant citations; repeat till most relevant citations are identified
  7. If necessary, further refine your search using the filters on the right and the left of the results page.
    1. Filters include article type, language, publication dates.
  • Find more detailed information in the PDF provided above