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Veterinary Medicine: PubMed

PubMed Search Aids

PubMed Overview

PubMed or MEDLINE  (nearly the same data, different interfaces) covers biomedical research and clinical medicine for all health sciences. Most, but not all, major veterinary medical journals are indexed (~110 journals). The National Library of Medicine has put together several short videos and handouts on how best to search PubMed along with an extensive help section. PubMed includes over 25 million records from 1950 to the present.

Linking to full text from PubMed

Ebsco Full Text Finder you connect with the full text of articles, especially those which Auburn University subscribes.

There are two ways to have the Ebsco Find Full Text icon appear in PubMed.

(1) Use the Auburn University Libraries’ link to PubMed

(2) Login to My NCBI before searching PubMed. To use the 2nd method, you will need to change the preferences in My NCBI as described below. I recommend this approach as you can also take advantage of other MyNCBI features such as Search Alerts, saving searches, saving results, and customizing the display (Abstract is a good choice). My NCBI is free … you just need to create a user name and password.

To add Article Linker in My NCBI
Log onto My NCBI --> NCBI Site Preferences --> PubMed Preferences --> Outside Tool --> Auburn University Libraries

Did you know ... ?

PubMed is like Google because ...

It is easy to use. You can simply enter keywords much like you do in Google.

PubMed is not like Google because ...

It lists the most recent articles first -- not by relevance. The other major difference is that PubMed consists of hightly organized data. This makes it possible to control searches in ways that Google cannot. For example, you can use AND, OR and parentheses to construct more complex and controlled searches. You can also use MeSH terms and subheadings to create targeted searches.

PubMed automatically maps search words to Medical Subject Headings (MeSH). 

Kudos to PubMed. The value of mapping search words to MeSH terms cannot be understated! Searching on the right MeSH terms is usually the key to an effective search. For example, PubMed maps "canine" to the correct MeSH term "dogs" and then searches both words in all fields, including the MeSH field. By itself, the word canine finds about 64,000 results, but mapping to "dogs" finds over four times as many results, over 300,000. however ... sometimes PubMed does not map to a MeSH or to the best MeSH term(s). To see how PubMed has interpreted a search, look at the far right column for the Search Details box. If PubMed has not mapped each concept to a MeSH term, consider trying different search terms as it can really make a difference.

The "Three Concept Approach" often gives good results -- Enter a term for each of the following:

  • Species
  • Disease or condition
  • Another aspect ... such as diagnosis, treatment, etiology, surgery, pathology, immunology, genetics, drug name, etc.

dogs diabetes diagnosis            cats dermatitis causes

The Advanced Search is deceptively simple and incredibly useful. You can ...

  • See the results of all previous searches run in the past 8 hours (up to 100 searches).
  • Re-execute previous searches.
  • Combine previous searches with AND, OR, NOT, and parentheses. For example, ((#2 OR #3 OR #4) AND #6) NOT #5 where each number represents a previous search from the search history.
  • Create searches in specific fields using "Search Builder".

The Clipboad is handy to keep track of references.

While running multiple search approaches, the Clipboard is a convenient place to keep track of useful references.

Check the box next to the article --> On the Send to pull-down menu --> Clipboard. 

Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) are the key to a good search.

It is critical to find and use the best MeSH terms. That said, don't rely on them exclusively because the most recent articles may do not yet have MeSH terms assigned.

PubMed searches can be limited to specific types of publications.

  • Case reports
  • Clinical trials
  • Meta-Analysis
  • Randomized controlled trials
  • Reviews -- Probably the most useful type of publication

PubMed allows full Boolean operators.

AND, OR, NOT, and parentheses can be used to construct searches. Quotes can be used to indicate a phrase. For example ...

(dogs OR cats) AND cardiac output

I recommend using the Advanced Search to combine searches with Boolean operatores.