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PubMed Tutorial from The Levy Library: Summary

Summary: Advanced Search Module

Remember .....

Filters (study type, language, age group, etc.) can help focus your search.  Be aware, though, that they may eliminate the newest articles.

Field searching turns off Automatic Term Mapping and forces PubMed to search for your exact terms in the fields you specify. Use it to increase the precision of your search results.

The Search Builder is a tool on the Advanced Search screen that can streamline complex field searches. Use its drop down menus to select from over 35 field qualifiers, e.g., institutional Affiliation, Author, Grant Number, Journal,, Investigator, Title.

More Bang

Do a quick field search by typing in 'field tags' or 'qualifiers' such as [author] and [journal] in square brackets after your search terms.

If you use field tags, remember to connect concepts with AND, OR, or NOT. (In an unqualified search, you usually do not need to use AND.)

PubMed's citation sensor works in the background to make finding a specific citation easier. Often you only need to type part of the citation into the query box to find the article.

When the citation sensor doesn't work, the Single Citation Matcher provides a quick way to retrieve a few citations. It is linked on the PubMed home page under PubMed Tools

Search History is a tool on the Advanced search page. It keeps a record of your searches for up to 8 hours. Use it to rerun or combine searches.

Using Filters: Be Careful

1. Many Filters eliminate the newest articlesNotice that when you applied Review or Randomized Controlled Trial filters, your search results included only citations which have been indexed for MEDLINE. 

Some Filters are MeSH terms and their use limits retrieval to indexed MEDLINE records. These eliminate the newest citations: 'PubMed - as supplied by publisher' and 'Pubmed - in process'.

Instead of memorizing which filters eliminate new records, simply scan your results for "as supplied by publisher" and "in process" records before you apply filters. Notice if these newer articles are excluded from your results. If they are excluded, you may want to remove the filters later and check for unindexed citations that look important.

2. Do NOT limit to 'Free full text available' or 'Full text available'. These Filters do not recognize our library's holdings. Using them eliminates many full-text articles that are available to you!

3. Be sure to clear filters when you no longer need them.  Filters remain in effect until removed. Click Clear all at the top or bottom of the list of filters, or click an active filter link to deselect it.