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Cabarrus College: PubMed

Cabarrus College of Health Sciences Information


PubMed is a provided by the U.S. National Library of Medicine.  It provides access to the National Library of Medicine (NLM) database of citation and abstracts in the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, health care systems, and pre-clinical serves.  PubMed comprises more than 25 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher websites

PubMed Tutorial

Below is a screen shot of the Home Page of PubMed database.  The Search Box is located at the top of the page.  In the middle of the page are quick links within PubMed. The Red Arrow is pointing to the search bar where you will enter in your search terms.  Our fictional search will be Pediatric Nursing.  We will type the phrase "pediatric nursing" in the search box and click on SEARCH. 

After typing "pediatric nursing" in the search box, we get 29368 search results.  We want to be able to narrow down the results to a more manageable number.   On the left side of the screen  (Green Circle) are the filters you can use to narrow your search.  On the right side of the screen (Red Circle) are related searches that you might be able to use to narrow your search.

In the previous tab, our result was over 29,000.  We want to narrow that down by using the filters on the left side of the screen.  We will limit the Publication dates to "5 years" and Species to "Humans"  (see Red Arrows).  We could also narrow it by Article types or Text availability, and we can also Show additional filters (additional filters include languages, sex and ages). All filters are on the left side of the screen. After reviewing "Related searches" on the right side of the screen, we determine that "Pediatric Nursing Trauma" better fits our topic.  When we click on that, our results are now 280 (Gold Circle).  In the Search Bar, our search term changed from "Pediatric Nursing" to "Pediatric Nursing Trauma"  (Green Circle).  On the right side, "Related searches" have been replaced with "Titles with your search terms" (Green Arrow).  The Yellow Highlighted sentence show which filters are being used for this search term. 

An abstract is a brief summary of a research article.  It can include the thesis, review and in-depth analysis of the subject.  An abstract is often used to help a person determine the article's content.  You can see the article abstract by clicking on the article title and PubMed will show you the abstract of the article.  The Yellow Highlighted line is the Journal citation information.  The Gold Arrow points to the Title of the article.  The Green Arrow points to the authors of the article.  The Red Arrow points to the actual abstract.  As you read this, you can determine if this is an article you can use.  The Purple Box is a list of similar articles that you might be able to use.  The Black Circle is whether the article is free or not.  If you see this symbol:  , you can click on this and the article will open up as a PDF.  In the example below, this symbol is not there.  To be able to get this article, you will need to request this article from the Librarians (see requesting an article tab).

You can save the article you wish to a clipboard to be able to review later.  You do not need to be signed in to PubMed to be able to save to your clipboard.  On the left of the articles are little boxes.  Put a check in the box next to articles you wish to keep (Figure A, Red Rectangle).  Then click on the "Send to" at the top of the screen and a Choose Destination box will drop down.  Click "Clipboard" and click "Add to Clipboard" (Figure A, Purple Circle). In the upper right, you will see this:   showing that you have sent "3 items" to your clipboard.  If you click on that, you will see your clipboard (Figure B).  From your clipboard, you can review the articles and if you wish, you can remove any or all items. You can also send your clipboard to yourself (Figure B, Purple Circle) to review in the future or to forward on to a librarian to get the articles that you cannot access for free.The Green Arrow points to where you will fill in an email address. Do NOT send your clipboard directly to the librarians - you must send to yourself and then forward the information.  Please review Requesting Articles tab for more details.

PLEASE BE AWARE THAT YOUR CLIPBOARD WILL DELETE after 8 hours of inactivity on PubMed or other NCBI databases OR if you change computers.  See PubMed Clipboards for more information.

Figure A

Figure B

You have found wonderful articles and have decided on the ones you want to use.  Now you want to read the articles.  If the articles are free (it will say "Free PMC Article" at the bottom of the information about the article), then you can click on it and download the PDF file.  If it is not free, you will need to contact Cassie Dixon  for assistance.  To be able to request an article, the librarians will NEED to have the following information:  Title of Article (Black Box), Authors (Green Box) , Journal published in and Date Published (Red Box) and PMID (Purple Box).   You can send us an email.  You can also forward us your email of your clipboard of the articles.  You will send the articles from your clipboard to your email address (Green Arrow).  Then you forward the email received from PubMed to the librarians with a note letting us know which articles you would like (ie, could you please send me articles 1 and 3).  We will then request the article and forward them to you when we receive them. Please DO NOT send your Clipboard directly to the librarians - send the clipboard to yourself then forward it to a librarian.  It usually takes 2 business days for the librarians to be able to obtain the article(s) and email it to you.


Here are some additional Hints and Tips for searching in PubMed.

  • Go directly into PubMed - do not use the AHEC portal as it is difficult to send your Clipboard back to yourself.
  • Sometimes less is more - if you are having trouble locating information, make your search terms broader or remove filters.
  • If you get too many results, try narrowing your search terms, (ie, instead of pediatric nursing, use pediatric nursing trauma).
  • Use filters to narrow your results such as Species, Publication Date, and/or Language.
  • Make sure that you send your clipboard back to yourself before exiting.
    Your Clipboard WILL DELETE after 8 hours of inactivity on PubMed or other NCBI databases OR if you change computers.
  • There are tutorials at PubMed for Nurses that are specifically for nursing.

Below is a video tutoral on how to search PubMed.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Cassie Dixon.


This video was created by a previous Librarian.  If you need assistance, please email, call or stop by the Library for assistance.


If you have any questions regarding PubMed, please feel to contact Cassie Dixon.  You may either stop by the Library, call, or send an email.