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PubMed (English): New: Step 2 - Basic Search

"Best match method"

By using the search bar on the homepage you can do a basic google type search,This is the "best match" method,Type your search terms (found earlier in your PICO building stones)  together (1 term per building stone) in your search bar. Without punctuation, quotations marks or capital letters en without  AND, OR, or NOT. This is no longer necessary. Search terms will be combined automatically with the boolean operator AND.  PubMed searches automatically for: 

  • matching MeSH-terms
  • synonyms
  • singular and plurals
  • variations in spelling (i.e. English vs. American)

The best matching articles according to PubMed are presented at the top of the search list.. The default is undefined.
Use "'search detail" to check the PubMed search.

Does this search strategy answer your research question? If so, you can skip advanced searching via MeSH as well as searching with free search terms:  skip steps  3, 4 and 5.
This search strategy, however,  is not suited for extensive literature research. In this case follow steps 3, 4 and 5 to search with MeSH and free search terms

Subject search

You want to know more about a certain subject. Use the "Best match" method and type what you are looking for.. Be specific, PubMed translates your basic search into a more extensive search. 

Say you are looking for articles about the use of cranberries for prevention and treatment of a bladder infection. . Type your "own" search terms  (from the first phase of your research)  in in the search bar  WITHOUT using punctuation, quotation marks, capital letters, truncation, AND, OR, of NOT. You do not even have to know the scientific term for "bladder infection"!
In the search result list all search terms are in capitals also the terms added by Pubmed itself..  .
Via "Search details" you can see how Pubmed interpreted your search with 'Automatic term mapping',
Click "Advanced" below the search bar

Click "History and Search Details":

1. Search:
Here you see the complete search query Pubmed created for your search. 
​2. Translations:
Here you can see in detail which terms Pubmed has added  Bladder infection has been automatically translated and the medical term 'cystitis' has been added. And for cranberries the scientific term 'vaccinium macrocarpon', (singular and plural).

When checking 'Search details' you will see a limited number of synonyms :  PubMed can be inconsistent.
For example::
If you use "aged" as search term PubMed does NOT automatically add the search terms  "elderly", "geriatric" or "senior" :
If you use  "elderly" as a  search term Pubmed searches automatically for "aged", but NOT for "geriatric" or "senior'"

Author search

Your are looking for publications written by a certain author. Searching for an author kan be difficult when there are mutiple authors with the same name.or when an author publishes under different variations of his own name.

The most effective way is searching for the last name with initials, without capital letters or punctuation marks. This gives you a better result than searching for the full last name and first name. Not all PubMed records include full author names. 

Looking for publications of which Francis Collins, managing director of the National Institute of Health (NIH) is the co-author, you search for:
In the search results your search term will be highlighted in bold text. A lot of articles appear to have been (co) written by 'FS Collins':
How can you check if this is Francis Collins?
And specifically: is this person the NIH managing director? 

- Open an article by clicking on the title
- Click "+Expand" next to  "Affiliations"


Searching for a specific article

Type in the search bar on the homepage or in the search/result screen your citation elements like author, title word(s),  journal title, volume, year etc. 

If you are looking for an article by an author named Ganna in the journal Science from 2019, search for:
At the  top of the list with search results Pubmed first shows the articles retrieved via "citation matching" and best suited to your search.

Searching for articles from a specific journal

Type the complete journal title, ISSN-number or the official abbreviation of the journal title in the search bar on the homepage or at the top of the search-result screen.

Looking for articles published in the "Disability & Rehabilitation" journal , enter the full title:
OR the official abbreviation
By earching for the full name you will also find search results containing "disability" AND "rehabilitation" in the text/abstract/title of the articles, this results in more irrelevant hits. 
Bu searching using the abbreviation only the articles published in this journal are displayed. This gives the best results.

Look at the differences in results:
 Searching by the full name

Search results by searching with the abbreviation 


Via "Journals" on the home page you can easily find the official abbreviation of a journal. 

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