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PubMed

Learn to use our version of Pubmed to seach Medline to find medical, veterinary, sportsmedicine and nutritional articles

Complex Subject Searches

Pubmed supports more complex searches tenosynovitis and chickens
These searches are using what are called boolean operators ( the "ANDs" and the "ORs") tenosynovitis and chickens and diet
In Pubmed, be sure to enter the "ANDs" and "ORs" in capital letters. Place parenthesis around the ORed terms. Quotation marks can be used around phrases. screenshot from pubmed showin a complex nested boolean search

Using MeSH Terms

 

You sometimes get too many items with scattered meanings by just putting in the key terms.  (Pubmed will automatically place an "and" between words, so this is the same as methylphenidate AND history). You sometimes get too many items with scattered meanings by just putting in the key terms.  (Pubmed will automatically place an "and" between words, so this is the same as methylphenidate AND history).

The creators of Medline have provided a structure to allow for tighter searches called MeSH Terms.  Scroll down to below the abstract for an article that looks to be on your topick and click on the link for Publication Types, MeSH Terms, and Substances. 

Click on the that link and see what MeSH Terms apply.  You can then click on that term or paste it into the search box.

Your resulting search should give fewer items with a better subject focus.

Warning: newer articles may not yet have MeSH terms assigned to them.

The resulting disply has a link for Publication Types, MeSH Terms, and Substances. Click on the that link and see what MeSH terms apply.  You can then click on that term or paste it into the search box.
Another example: I started with my best guess for terms for my subject and just put them into a search. dogs and arthritis and diet therapy
After some back and forth looking at the MeSH Terms for some of the articles, I was able to construct this search, which was a little more focused. It seems that the more I know about the subject, the better I am able to formulate a search. dog diseases/diet therapy and osteoarthritis

Using Limits

You can also use built in "Limit" features to narrow down your search.  At the top of the page, look for the "Limit" Link:

A large menu will appear, from which you can choose your limits to the search. Some of the more useful limits are:

Type of Article:

  • Meta-analysis
  • Randomized controlled trial
  • Review (What's this? )
  • Case reports
  • Clinical trial

Subsets:

Take a look at the choices: there may be something to help your search.