Skip to main content

PubMed Tutorial from The Levy Library: Quick Field Searching

Field Tags for a Quick Field Search

You can do a field search by using the Search Builder or the Sidebar Field filter, and you can also do a quick field search by typing in 'field tags' or 'qualifiers' such as [author] and [journal] in square brackets after your search words.

If you use field tags, you MUST include any connecting words in capital letters, ex: Black [author] AND Blood [journal].

Field tags are often abbreviated to two to four letters; for example [au] or [author] both work to specify the author field. Case is not important.

The following field tags are often used in quick searches or to edit searches.

[Author] or [AU] [Journal] or [JT] [Title] or [TI]
[Publication Date] or [DP] [MeSH] or [MH] (MeSH Headings) [MAJR] (Major MeSH Headings)
[Affiliation] or [AD] 

Tip: The Easiest Way to Find Articles by an Author? Type Directly into the Search Box.

TipFinding an author's publications is one of the most common reasons for using PubMed. You have already seen two ways to do this: select the Author field on the Advanced Search screen or tag the name with the author search field [au]. But you can also simply type directly into the search box — if you use the correct format.

Enter the last name, a space, then first and middle initial (if known), with NO punctuation - e.g. smith bj. As long as you include the first initial, PubMed will recognize that you are searching for an author.

Author names are automatically truncated to account for varying initials and designations such as Jr. So, Smith B will retrieve articles by all authors named Smith B, Smith BA, Smith, Brian, Smith BR, etc. 

Full Author Names may be used, but only for citations published in 2002 or later, and only when the journal includes the full name in the article - e.g. Brian J Smith.