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PubMed Limits and Other Recent Changes

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

I thought this would be a good time to answer some of the common questions I have been hearing while reviewing the recent changes.

  1. Where can I set the limits?
  2. You can now access the limits by a NEW link on the homepage just above the search box, this will open a newly created separate page.
    • A date range menu has been added.
    • The choices have been reorganized by order of popularity.
    • The Text Options has been moved to the bottom left of the page.
    • Clear limits with the reset button and then run a new search.

    Note: there are new publication types in the list, Webcasts and Research Support, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

  3. How do I print in the new design?
  4. Printing can be done in a couple of ways. When viewing your results you can use your browsers print function (file—print) or Ctrl P to print what you see on the screen. This will take out the PubMed header but include the full text icons that are associated with a citation.
    Choose your items, by clicking the boxes to the left of the citation, and use the display settings: select Summary (Text) or Abstract (text) to eliminate the web related content. The Summary (Text) option will change the format of the citation slightly by putting the author names first, offering that arrangement for those who prefer it.

  5. How do I see the MeSH terms and other supplemental data?
  6. Below the citation, if “indexed for MEDLINE”, will be a plus sign followed by the available components: Publication Types, MeSH Terms, Substances, click on this to expand/open the information to display all pertinent information.

  7. Where do my Clipboard items display?
  8. After selecting Send To:
    • an icon will display on the results page on the right hand side.
    • the number 0 will be assigned to clipboard items in the history section.
    • NEW: A Clipboard link will show on the PubMed homepage in the list under the PubMed Tools heading

  9. What choices do I have for E-mailing formats?
  10. Summary-Send your citation in the summary format if you want a hyperlink that the recipient can use to go to PubMed where the fulltext and other PubMed features will display.
    Abstract-Send in Abstract form to include the icons connected to full text along with the MeSH terms, Publications Types and other Supplemental Data that is part of the indexed record.
    Abstract (text) Send in the Abstract (text) form to have an easy to print version, this will not include hyperlinks, icons or MeSH and other supplemental data.
    Medline, XML and PMID List are also options.
    • NEW: Recently a feature has been added to allow for large sets of citations to be sent in batches. The size limit has been 200 per e-mail but this new option will allow the user to select a starting point. For instance, if the first 200 have been sent the next group should start at 201.
    A description is in the NLM Technical Bulletin:

The Advanced Search Page has been trimmed down. The former box that contained multiple search menus and the Limits section has been removed.

  • In their place is the NEWSearch Builder where you can use the drop down menu to select the field you want to search and use the Boolean operator buttons to combine and build your search.The Index to fields and field values has been streamlined into this section as well allowing for multiple selection of terms: choose the field from the drop down menu, type in your term, click the index button to the right of the search box, select multiple choices from the list by using the Ctrl function and add to the search box.
  • Instructions have also been added to the Search Builder and History sections. They are viewable by clicking on the text at the bottom of the box/section.

Read about all the changes including changes to PubMed and many other NLM Resources in the latest NLM Technical Bulletin article.

PubMed’s Redesigned Interface

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

The newly redesigned PubMed Interface is live now.

NLM has several articles in the NLM Technical Bulletin that cover the changes.
In these postings you will find answers to questions about printing, the location of the content formerly found in the tabs, how to display the MeSH terms assigned to an indexed article and other questions you may have.

PubMed Redesign : a complete overview of the redesign with images.

Linkout in the PubMed Redesign : explains where the icons display when viewing results in different formats and the format for URL’s.

PubMed Now Using the Redesigned Interface : note that there were some changes made from the preview version including Details displaying with the search results.

The recorded webcast along with answers to questions asked during the 2009 PubMed Redesign sessions (held on October 6th and 7th) has also been posted: Webcast: 2009 PubMed Redesign

In addition there are some added features to MyNCBI:
MyNCBI: MyBibliography and Other Citations Enhanced

I will be hosting brief sessions via Adobe Connect throughout the month to review some of the changes. Currently there are two scheduled: Tuesday, November 3rd at 10a.m. and Monday November 9th at 2 p.m.

Recording of PubMed Redesign Session

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

If you were unable to attend the PubMed Redesign Presentation online webinar, or if you would like to listen to the class again, a recording of this class is now available here:

The session was held on Wednesday, August 26, 2009 from 2:00 – 3:00 pm

David Gillikin, Chief of NLM’s Bibliographic Services Division, reviews the draft design for the new search results page along with some explanations of coming changes in PubMed.

A question and answer session follows the presentation. This webinar is a repeat of the presentation at the NLM Online Users’ Meeting at the Medical Library Association’s annual conference in May.

This free, online class was conducted using Adobe Connect. The recording provides the session in its entirety with audio and the PowerPoint presentation.

The recording runs for approximately 49 minutes.


Thursday, August 27th, 2009

Over recent years, we’ve received a fair number of technical support calls from NER members. At first glance, it would seem logical to categorize support calls by the NLM resource.  A more instructive approach, however, would probably be to take a closer view of the broader technical issues. When PubMed and DOCLINE users encounter errors, many immediately assume that the problem is centralized in Bethesda (i.e., NLM) when in fact, the problem often lies with local network or local desktop issues.

To reduce the incidence of “local” issues in the future, users may want to consider the following:

1. When accessing NLM applications (such as PubMed, DOCLINE, etc.), make sure your workstation is set up to accept “cookies”.

2. If there’s an unexpected occurrence in the display of screens while in PubMed or DOCLINE, make sure that workstation cache has been cleared.

[ NOTE: When clearing workstation cache, do not delete those “cookies” needed by DOCLINE.]

3. After clearing cache, if the technical problem recurs, write down the steps you took and report your problem either to the NER or to NLM Customer Service.

More information related to enabling cookies or clearing cache may be found below:

Enabling cookies (using Internet Explorer):

Enabling cookies (using Firefox):

Clearing cache:

Several useful definitions on the subject:


Cache is a temporary storage area on a user’s computer where frequently accessed data is rapid ready for immediate use so that re-computing original data is not required.  Cache should be refreshed routinely.

Clearing cache on your web browser may improve web page downloading time and overall performance while accessing databases on the web.


A “cookie” is information sent by a website server to the user’s workstation while they are connected to that site. Cookies store information about user interactions that may be needed later for the system to perform a function.

Most browsers allow users to decide whether or not to accept cookies, as well as the time frame in which to maintain them. Some websites may become unusable when a user decides to reject cookies.

Example: the automatic login functionality found  in ILL management systems depend on the use of cookies and will not work if cookies are disabled.


Connectivity involves the transport of data between two points (from server to workstation, server to server, etc.)

To increase your computer’s connectivity to the web, remember to:

  1. Clear workstation cache from time to time. This will enhance your workstation’s performance with web-based applications (like PubMed and DOCLINE); and
  2. Maintain cookies on your computer, so that your computer is instantly recognized by NLM.
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