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Database & Resource Help: PubMed Support

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.

Using PubMed and Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)

At first glance, this section on PubMed probably seems overwhelming. Don't despair!

  • All the videos here are only 3-4 minutes long, just enough to give you a good overview of PubMed and how you can make it work to your advantage.
  • Each brief tutorial also has interactive elements as well, such as having you complete keyword searches and answering simple quiz questions to test the knowledge you just learned. 

Learning the basics of PubMed is essential as it is a resource you can use. Still OneSearch is only available for current students and faculty so PubMed will most likely become your number #1 database to use to search for articles as you continue on in your career. 

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

Tutorials : How to Search PubMed

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

FAQs with the PubMed Help Guide

Find Answers to any question you may have about PubMed.  Some examples include:

  • How do I find systematic reviews?
  • How can I save my results?
  • How do I find a specific citation?
  • Also check out video tutorials and quick tours of database features