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PubMed: Home


  • PubMed is the largest and most heavily used biomedical and health sciences database because it indexes (keeps track of, points you to, or links you to) citations (descriptive information about a published item) from thousands of the most authoritative publishers and journals in the world.
  • As of this guide's creation, it contains over 28 million citations. Dozens to hundreds of new publications are added to it every day. Anyone with an internet connection and web browser can search this database and see these citations for free at
  • PubMed Plus, is a version the library uses to make sure you can link to any of the 28 million citations's full-text articles from journals PubMed knows we subscribe to. When you are off-campus, you know you are in the PubMed Plus version if you see FIU in the URL which will look like
  • A large portion PubMed's indexed articles actually belong to the MEDLINE database, which is responsible for 23 million of those 28 million citations.  You might say that MEDLINE is the backbone of PubMed. Still, when you search PubMed for articles, you are searching 23 million MEDLINE citations but also 5 million other citations from other constituent publication sources that make up the entirety of PubMed.
  • Articles that are in the MEDLINE database have been described with MeSH terms (Medical Subject Headings).  Subject specialists at the National Library of Medicine identify what the MEDLINE articles are about with MeSH descriptors to standardize and enhance informational retrieval.
  • Searching with MeSH terms is a very reliable and clever way to find relevant articles for your topic. But remember, you are only searching MEDLINE articles when you are searching with MeSH terms.

PubMed's Homepage

When you link to PubMed from our website, you automatically default to this page.

Basic Known-Item Search Preview

If you know the title of the article or PMID, (a unique identified the creators of PubMed assign to every article they enter into the database), you can paste one or the other into the search bar. PubMed is usually good about finding it and displaying it as a first result. Of course, this only works if your article was published in one of the thousands of journals indexed by PubMed. Below is an example of a known-item search:

Basic Keyword Search Preview

In the search bar, you can perform a basic (keyword or phrase) search. Below is an example of a keyword search:

Try not to use quotation marks the first time you search because doing so will turn off a function called automatic term mapping (ATM).  Automatic term mapping is the process of PubMed taking your keyword and adding synonyms you had not thought of yourself to enhance your search.

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