How To Use PubMed


All About

From PubMed site: "comprises more than 36 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites."

Accessing this resource

  • On-site: visit the Banner Health Library Services website and select "PubMed" from right hand-sidebar quick links or by following this link path: "Resources">Databases>P>PubMed@Bannerhealth
  • Off-site:
    • With email: Start on the library website and click on anything. You will be asked to login once with your Banner Health email, password, and Microsoft Authenticator App.
    • Without email: Start at OpenAthens Portal. Login with your library issued Open Athens account and use links provided on the list of resources. Don't have an OpenAthens account? : Use this form to request an account. It may also be helpful to view this OpenAthens video for detailed information on each of the resources.
  • Mobile: If you are accessing this resource via a mobile device, we highly recommend that you start at the library website ( and click on  > Resources>Databases>P>PubMed. Once you do so, you will be prompted to enter your Banner Health credentials and authenticate using the Microsoft Authenticator app. 

How to search

Sample Picot question: "In Older Adults, what is the difference between Music therapy and no music therapy intervention on decreased depression across 6 months?"


  • Break your search topic down into its basic component parts. In this case: older adults, music therapy interventions, depression
  • Identify/brainstorm keywords and synonyms to represent each distinct concept
  • **Document** any keywords brainstormed or discovered. This step is very important!
  • Your first keyword search is not your final, polished search strategy












  1. Enter the terms (or key concepts) in the search box
  2. Press the Enter key or click Search
  3. Click on "Log in" (upper right corner) to create My NCBI account to manage collections of abstracts, create alerts, export to bibliographic citation manager, and more























  1. Filter by date (slider)
  2. Filter by article type (books and documents, clinical trials, meta-analysis, systematic review, etc)
  3. Filter by date (bubble)
  4. Browse additional filters (language, human/animal, age, etc)






















  1. While viewing specific article abstract, Expand list of MeSH terms
  2. View additional natural language keywords
  3. Download full text when full-text icons are available


Helpful Considerations:

  • For many PubMed searches, it is not necessary to use special tags or syntax
  • PubMed uses multiple tools (such as automatic term mapping) to help you find relevant results
    • Best Match sort order uses a state-of-the-art machine learning algorithm to place the most relevant citations at the top of your results.
    • An autocomplete feature displays suggestions as you type your search terms. This feature is based on PubMed query log analysis described in " Finding Query Suggestions for PubMed ."
    • A spell checking feature suggests alternative spellings for search terms that may include misspellings.
    • A citation sensor displays suggested results for searches that include terms characteristic of citation searching, e.g., author names, journal titles, publication dates, and article titles.
  • This information was taken from the PubMed User Guide, "How Do I search in Pubmed"



















  1. View details of search in "advanced" mode: i.e., see "automatic term mapping" in action. PubMed shows you when/if one of your keywords was found and mapped to an official MeSH heading. For example, "depression" was mapped to "Depressive disorder"[MeSH] and other terms
  2.  Explore the MeSH database to browse the official indexed Medical Subject headings or build a targeted search right from the MeSH database

For Authors

Interested in publishing your manuscript in the PubMed repository known as PubMed Central (PMC)? Look no further!


Chat with library staff if you are having problems accessing this resource.

Questions to facilitate troubleshooting independently or while requesting assistance:

  1. What type of device are you using a) A Banner issued laptop? b) A Banner desktop computer? c) A personal computer? d) A phone or tablet?
  2. Are you located at a Banner facility? If yes, at which facility are you located?
  3. Can you check your IP address? You can google "what is my IP address" if you are unsure, Google "what is my IP address?"




  • Last Updated Sep 25, 2023
  • Views 53
  • Answered By Erin Moore

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