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An introduction to using PubMed for basic research, and advanced literature reviews.



(Ovid or ProQuest)



National Library of Medicine (NLM), user interface provided by Ovid Technologies or ProQuest.

National Library of Medicine (NLM), user interface provided by National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).


Restricted by license to FSU affiliates.

Free to all.


1940s - present, choose from several time blocks.
Separate MEDLINE In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations file.

1940s - present.
MEDLINE In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations automatically included in search.

Full-Text Availability

Direct links to full-text articles in over 200 journals via Ovid or ProQuest in addition to providing links to other FSU e-journal collections.

Links to FSU full text options only when connected through PubMed via FSU link or when use FSU filters via My NCBI. Items are also available via FSU e-journal collections.

Saving Searches

Yes, through "Save Search History," queries may be saved temporarily (720 hours), permanently (indefinitely), or in the form of an "auto alert" (SDI). (Must create a personal account in Ovid or ProQuest.)

Yes, the "My NCBI" feature will save queries and provide search updates/email alerts. (Must register for "My NCBI.")

Boolean Searching


Supported, but Boolean operators must be included in all capital letters.


Supported, use $ or * as a wildcard. Wildcard usage will not map to a MeSH term.

Supported, use * as a wildcard. Wildcard usage will not map to a MeSH term.


Chart created by Kathleen Turner, Health Sciences Outreach and Liaison Librarian, Drexel University
(Adapted for FSU by Micah Vandegrift)

Source/For More Information:

What's the difference?

PubMed and MEDLINE both let you access MEDLINE, the U.S. National Library of Medicine's biomedicine bibliographic database. There are several differences between the options but the most prominent is the search interface. For details, see this Fact Sheet by the National Library of Medicine.

When to use PubMed: you are not affiliated with a university or do not have off-campus access privileges; you want to explore the MeSH database as a standalone.

When to use MEDLINE: you frequently use other Ovid or ProQuest databases and prefer their search interface; you want to export citations directly to RefWorks without uploading a file.

Otherwise, the choice is yours.

FSU students and faculty have access to MEDLINE via Ovid and ProQuest, both of which require you to use off-campus access if you are not currently at FSU. You can acccess PubMed from any location without logging in, but it is always recommended to go through PubMed via FSU Libraries to clearly see which articles you can obtain full text.

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