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VETM 5140: Searching in PubMed

Guide to introduce students to the tenets of scientific literature and for navigating PubMed.

PubMed Search Strategies

PubMed is one of the premier databases for accessing veterinary research. It is a powerful, comprehensive database that has strong searching capabilities. 
PubMed is freely available, but by accessing PubMed through the UGA Library's site, you are guaranteed more full-text access through the Icon for University of Georgia Libraries  full text option. This button will find the full-text through our numerous online subscriptions, provide information about where the print is if we don't have access, or allow you to order the article through Interlibrary Loan if we don't have electronic or print access to the article.

The advanced search allows you to use Boolean logic to formulate a search strategy.

Linking terms with AND limits your search and ensures all terms are retrieved with your search.

Linking terms with OR broadens your search; works best with synonymous terms or related concepts.

Learn new skills in PubMed with this online tutorial.

Searching with MeSH

PubMed also allows searching through Medical Subject Headings (MeSH). This is a controlled vocabulary of subject headings that get assigned to all articles that are fully indexed within the database. Searching via MeSH allows for a more precise search while also allowing you to apply subheadings to narrow the scope of the broad subject heading search.

To search these subject headings, change the default PubMed search to MeSH:

Input your search terms. Notice how PubMed will automatically map entered terms to the controlled vocabulary:


Apply a subheading if you like, then click on "Add to search builder", then "Search PubMed" to see your results. 



PubMed Filters

PubMed allows you to limit your searches by article type. Once you've executed your search, click on the Customize option on the left. Choose the article types you are interested in. They will now show up on the left hand side. Click on the ones that you want to limit your search to.


Another filter option that is useful for veterinary students is the "Other Animals" filter. This will limit the search results to those articles that are about any other animal than humans.