What is PubMed?
  • The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has been indexing biomedical literature since 1879 to help provide health professionals access to information necessary for research, health care, and education.
  • What was once a printed index to articles, the Index Medicus, became a database now known as MEDLINE.  MEDLINE contains journal citations and abstracts (not full text) for biomedical literature from around the world. 
  • Since 1996, free access to MEDLINE has been available to the public online via PubMed. 
  • PubMed does not include copies of journal articles but offers links to the full text when available. Access to some articles will be free. Access to others may require payment. As an affiliate of the UT Health Science Center Libraries, you have access to a wider number of full-text articles through the journals licensed by the library.
Accessing PubMed
Access PubMed from the UT Health Science Center San Antonio Libraries homepage.

Although PubMed is freely available, access to full text through PubMed is limited. Before accessing PubMed from off campus, log in with your domain account through the Libraries homepage to gain access to the full text of electronic journals subscribed to by the UT Health Science Center Libraries.
Searching PubMed
The first screen in PubMed provides access to the basic search function. Type any combination of terms, authors, etc. in the search box.

As you type, you will notice a drop down list of suggested terms based on other frequent PubMed searches. This can assist you with search ideas and spelling but is not intended to replace your own search strategy. Click on the search button to perform your search.

Advanced Search
Use the PubMed Advanced Search Builder page to perform more complicated searches and to keep track of your search history.

Content in PubMed is organized according to Medical Subject Headings or MeSH. While using keyword searching is ok, using PubMed's Mesh Database is one way to improve your searches. MeSH terms reflect the major ideas and concepts from the entire article. 

Build your search one term at a time. 

You can later combine your searches in different ways to test your results and refine your overall search strategy.

Click on the search Items found number to see the search results.
Search Results
Once you have fully developed your search strategy using keywords and/or MeSH Terms, you can narrow your results using PubMed filters.

Also use the results page to save or email results, export citations to citation management programs like Refworks or EndNote...and much more! 

After applying filters, click on article titles of interest to access the article record page. 

On the record page, you can read the article abstract, find related MeSH terms, find similar articles, and access full text if available.

Get full text from PubMed results through the HSCLink, publisher link when available, or request through Interlibrary Loan

Subject Specialist
Picture: Pegeen Seger

Pegeen Seger
, Head of Outreach & Community Engagement
Tel: 210 567-6398

Sample Searches
PubMed -- Clinical Queries
This search filter provides citations to the evidence-based literature in the following five areas:
  • Therapy - information addressing the treatment of disease 
  • Etiology - information addressing causation/harm of disease
  • Diagnosis - information addressing disease diagnosis
  • Prognosis - information addressing disease prognosis
  • Clinical prediction guidelines - data addressing the likelihood of disease presence or absence
PubMed -- Systematic Reviews
This search filter provides citations to the highest levels of evidence including: 
  • Systematic reviews
  • Meta-analyses
  • Reviews of clinical trials.
PubMed -- Focused Topic Searches
This is a directory of pre-built concentrated searches on a variety of different topics.
Related Databases
  • World's largest biomedical database, 1946 to present.
  • Database of citations and abstracts in the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, health care systems, and preclinical sciences.
  • Uses a controlled vocabulary, Medical Subject Headings (MeSH®), to index citations.