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PubMed (EN): Introduction

Introduction to PubMed

PubMed is a widely used and comprehensive medical database. It contains references and abstracts of more than 5000 different journals and more than 30 million references. Using the database is free and you have access everywhere with an internet connection. The database also contains a network of standardised search terms called MeSH-terms, which can aid in the search for scientific literature. In this libguide you can find how to search PubMed step by step. 

To efficiently search PubMed it is advisable to prepare your search. You can orient yourself on a subject by using search engines and databases such as HanQuest, Google Scholar or Tripdatabase before executing a comprehensive systemic search. It is also wise to search using a search-scheme.

When to use PubMed?

  • When researching a medical subject;
  • When answering a clinical question
  • When performing an evidence-based search
  • When writing a systematic review or meta-analysis

Access to PubMed

The use of PubMed is free of charge and the database is accessible worldwide. The link below leads to the PubMed-Website. 

PubMed to Embase Translator

Using PubMed like google

When opening the PubMed home-page you are presented with a google-like search bar and search-button. 

It may be tempting to start filling in several search terms and to press search, but PubMed often can't properly execute a search in this way. In this way you are at risk of not finding all the articles that are relevant to your search, or of finding to many articles to look through. It is therefore important to structure your search with a search-scheme. 

Hint: you can always find the exact search that PubMed performed in the advanced-menu under 'details' in the search history.