PubMed is a free search engine for Medline, the National Library of Medicine's repository of journal references on a wide range of biomedical topics. PubMed contains references and abstracts, with links to a number of full articles. Only about 10% of these articles are available free of charge. It is important to go through the Health Sciences Library site or UNC Libraries page in order to access the additional links to online journal articles purchased by UNC. There are a number of ways to do this.
- Use the PubMed link on the Clinical Reference page OR
- Go to the main Health Sciences Library page OR
- Link to PubMed through the campus libraries E-Research Tools page
When looking for links to articles, keep an eye out for this icon
NOTE: There are times when the Find at UNC icon does not appear on the PubMed screen and you still have access to the full text of the article. Article linking is complex, involving many systems and information providers. A double-check of options using the Electronic Journals page or the Catalog gives a more complete picture of e-journal access at UNC.
This tutorial does not cover techniques for searching PubMed. Classes on searching will be offered in the Molecules to Cells course. In addition, there are many excellent tutorials and help pages on the web. Here are a few links to get you started:
- Tutorial from the National Library of Medicine
- How to Use PubMed (Dana Medical Library)
- PubMed Ten Tips (UNC Health Sciences Library)
A few words about MeSH
"Medline is unique in that each reference to the medical literature is indexed under a controlled vocabulary called Medical Subject Headings (MeSH). These headings are the keys that unlock the medical literature. MeSH multiplies the usefulness of the Medline database and makes it possible to search the medical literature as we do today."
Source: "Medical Subject Headings Used to Search the Biomedical Literature" Margaret H. Coletti, Mls and Howard L. Bleich, MD. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2001 Jul–Aug; 8(4): 317–323
- Learn more about MeSH and how it helps with effective PubMed searching.