MIT TechTV – PubMed Basics

Last time I told you I would show you how to search for journal articles on PubMed – the premiere bibliographic database for the bio-sciences community. It’s free for anyone to use (you do not need to be a doctor, scientist or librarian) so take advantage of it as you can just go on and start searching right away without having to register or sign in. I have found many great articles on PubMed on a wide range of topics that have helped tremendously – sometimes it is just fun to poke around and see what is going on in the world of science and you can even get alerts sent to an RSS Feed or your email when new articles are posted on PubMed (I will show you this in the next post). Sometimes the full article is available and sometimes only an abstract is available or just the article name and author, etc. Note: Abstracts are always in English, so if an article says that is written in Japanese, the abstract, if available, will always be available in English. An Abstract is the brief summary of a scientific paper – typically a paragraph or two. An Abstract generally gives information about the author(s) of the paper, such as name(s) and country; what premise they are testing, what methods were used to test the theory, and the conclusions that were reached.

Here is a great, easy to follow video done by MIT’s TechTV showing you step-by-step how to do a basic search on PubMed. Ignore the link they give in the video to access PubMed as it is through MIT’s own server, thus, only for MIT students/faculty. For everyone else, to access PubMed, simply go to or do a search in Google for “PubMed” and it will be the first link that comes up on the results page.

MIT TechTV – PubMed Basics.

Part of the MIT Libraries video tutorial series. This video demonstrates how to use the PubMed citation database to search for life science and biomedical research. Search efficiently and get full text articles.

*If you want to read a bit more about doing a search on PubMed here is a great “cheat sheet” that PubMed created to learn the basics performing a search:*

For learning how to do more than just a basic search on PubMed, PubMed has put together a Free web-based learning series made up of many brief tutorials: click here to begin. It is a really great mini-course which may take a few hours to go through, but you can also jump around based upon what interests you.


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