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Making PubMed Work For You

Course Description

This class is intended to hone basic searching techniques and the ability to develop search strategies that will take advantage of the PubMed interface to MEDLINE. The course will explore various methods for searching the PubMed system. Topics covered include Automatic Term Mapping, Search Results, Related Articles, My NCBI, Searching with MESH, Journal searching, and Single Citation Matcher. This course will provide an overview of the system and demonstrate utilizing the features of PubMed to search effectively. The 3.5-hour version of the course provides the attendees with hands-on opportunities to practice their search techniques in person or through an online course management system.


Participants will be able to:

  • Understand how PubMed translates the user's query into a MEDLINE search.
  • Be able to explain the interrelationship of the various files PubMed uses to create its interface to MEDLINE.
  • Formulate a search using PubMed that yields bibliographic retrieval relevant to the search query.
  • Utilize the various search options and interfaces available in PubMed to refine searching.
  • Understand the basic functions of features in PubMed.
  • Learn about resources to receive current information about NLM systems and acquire materials useful for MEDLINE searching.

Course Materials

Continuing Education

This course has been approved for 2.5 or 3.5 hours of Medical Library Association Continuing Education Units. 3.5 hours are available for the online version.


In-Person/Face-to-Face Instructors

Greater Midwest Region

Holly Ann Burt, Outreach and Exhibits Coordinator, ,

Middle Atlantic Region

Kate Flewelling, Outreach Coordinator, ,

Pacific Northwest Region

Patricia Devine, Network Outreach Coordinator, , ,

Pacific Southwest Region

Kay Deeney, Educational Services Coordinator, , ,

Southeastern Atlantic Region

Tony Nguyen, Emerging Technologies/Communications Coordinator, ,

Sheila Snow-Croft, Public Health Coordinator, ,

Moodle/Online Instructors

Greater Midwest Region

Holly Ann Burt, Outreach and Exhibits Coordinator, ,

Update Authors

Editor: Kay Deeney, Educational Services Coordinator, Pacific Southwest Region
Adapted from courses developed by the NLM Training Center (NTC) of the The National Network of Libraries of Medicine.