Searching PubMed and Google Scholar

Searching PubMed
Anne Beschnett, MLIS
Bio-Medical Library
[email protected]
Bio-Medical Library
• Provides resources and services to help
you with your research and information
• Access library resources through
– Bio-Medical Library Website:
– MyLibrary tab through the MyU Portal
– Library Course Page for PUBH8400
Access to Electronic Resources
• Electronic Resources
– Access to several health-related databases
and indexes
– Over 3,00 electronic journal subscriptions
– Growing e-book collection
• You can access almost all of our electronic
databases and resources from off-campus
• If we don’t have something (either online
or in print), use Interlibrary Loan
Off-Campus Access
• Your x.500 (email user name
and password) is your key
to accessing these resources
• You will be prompted for your
x.500 when you try to access one of our
licensed resources
PubMed: What is it?
• PubMed is the publically available interface
used to search MEDLINE
– Contains over 22 million bibliographic citation records
– Covers all specialties of clinical medicine, public health,
nursing, veterinary medicine, allied health and some basic
– Coverage from1950 - present
– Primarily citations from scholarly journals
• Small percentage from in-scope newspapers, magazines
and newsletters
– 5,200 worldwide journals in 37 languages
• PubMed is the free, web-based
interface to MEDLINE
• It is an abstract database – only
searches the abstract and not the full
• Get to PubMed via library links to see
Find It menu to connect to full-text
PubMed Search
• Default way PubMed searches is to look for your
search term as a keyword, which looks for the
word in the title, abstract, and subject headings
• Need to be aware of alternate terminology
when searching using keywords
• Searching using MeSH (Medical Subject
Headings) uses a controlled vocabulary
• Eliminates need for synonyms or variant
• Can use a combination of keywords and MeSH
headings when searching PubMed
Organize Your Search Topic
• Write down your topic as a statement
or question
• “Chunk” out your concepts and
search each concept separately
Search Tips
• Add concepts one at a time -- this gives
maximum flexibility later to combine concepts
• Use Boolean Operators (AND - OR)
– The more concepts you AND together the fewer
results you will receive
– The more concepts you OR together, the more
results you will receive
– Boolean Operator Cheat Sheet:
• Use the Advanced Search link to combine sets
Search Tips
• Use “*” as truncation symbol
• Too many results? Try using “Limits”
• Too few results? Think broadly, brainstorm
• Create an account in myNCBI to save
searches and citations for long term storage
and to set up an email auto-alert to stay
current on research interests
Google Scholar
• Advantages
– Easy search interface
– Searches across disciplines and sources
– Searches full text of articles
Google Scholar
• Disadvantages
– Don’t know exactly what it is searching
– Searching is by exact word match only –no
subject headings to provide context
– Only basic limits available – no age groups
– Can’t combine sets, save searches, or send
more than 1 citation/per time to RefWorks
Google Scholar
• Great tool – but use it as a supplement to,
and not a replacement for subject indexes
• Search tips
– Use the Advanced search feature
– Use quotation marks around phrases
– Search with alternate terminology, using
parenthesis and OR (“high blood pressure”
OR hypertension)
Google Scholar:
Result Comparison
Combine Terminology
Google Scholar
• Remember to ALWAYS access through
the Bio-Medical Library, or set your
preferences in Google Scholar to indicate
you are affiliated with the University of
Minnesota. This will allow FindIt links and
RefWorks export links to appear in your
Questions? Ask Your Librarian!
Anne Beschnett
Librarian to the School of Public Health
[email protected]

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