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PubMed Basics

PubMed Basics

What is PubMed?

PubMed is an online index to the biomedical journal literature (medicine, nursing, allied health, pre-clinical sciences, and related disciplines) that is available for free from the National Library of Medicine (NLM). PubMed provides citations and abstracts to journal articles, and in many cases includes links to the full text of the articles.

PubMed contains over 30 million records dating from the 1950s to the present and indexes over 4800 journals published in the United States and 70 other countries. See What's in PubMed?

Accessing PubMed

We recommend linking to PubMed through Dana Medical Library (look for the green button near the middle of the page). If you use PubMed a lot, it might be useful to bookmark http://voyager.uvm.edu/cgi-bin/purl?id=1450459.

You can also access PubMed directly from http://pubmed.gov. However, going through the Dana Medical Library's specialized link makes it easier to check if UVM has full text of the articles you find.

Welcome to the new PubMed!

If you've used PubMed in the past but haven't visited for a while, you may notice that it looks completely different. A new interface was introduced in January 2020. We recommend giving the new PubMed a try: Most users will find the new system very easy to get started with. For more advanced users, it's worth taking a few minutes to explore the new layout.

If you really want to go back to the old version temporarily, there's a link to "Legacy PubMed" in the Explore section of the PubMed search page. Legacy PubMed will go away altogether sometime this fall, so we do strongly recommend taking the time to become familiar with the new version when you can.

The new PubMed is still evolving, and new features are being added every few weeks. We try to keep our tutorials up to date, but things may have been tweaked recently. Let us know if you're having trouble following our tutorials.

Accessing the Full Text of Journal Articles

Click on the title of an article to see the Abstract view. PubMed does not contain full text of articles, but often has links to full text stored elsewhere. Depending on how wide your screen is, you may see the Full-text links section in the right margin or in the header once you scroll down a little. There may be several options, and you may need to try more than one of them:

Try this first: If you came to PubMed through our link (PubMed), you will see a Find It @ UVM button on the Abstract page of each article. Clicking this button will open UVM's link resolver. If we have a subscription, it should just take you directly to the full text of the article. If you are not using a computer on the UVM network, you will be prompted to log in with your UVM NetID to access the full text (see http://dana.uvm.edu/research/connect/ for more information).

If we don't have a subscription to the article you want, the Find It @ UVM button will offer you an opportunity to request it through our Interlibrary Loan service. This is a free service for UVM and UVM Medical Center students, faculty, and staff. Delivery times average between one day and 3 days. Please see Interlibrary Loan for more information.

Other full-text links in PubMed: Many articles in PubMed will also have links inserted by the publishers. If they say "Free Full text" or "Open Access full text", go ahead and click on them. But if they aren't free, they may prompt you to log in or will ask for payment. We don't recommend paying for articles: we may have access through another site (go back and check the Find It @ UVM button to see), and it's a whole lot cheaper for you to use our Interlibrary Loan service (remember, it's free for UVM and UVM Medical Center faculty, staff, and students).