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PubMed (English): Step 5 - Combining

Step 4 - Combining the PICO-elements / building blocks

Now you have filled in every PICO element / building block (Step 2 and 3) you can combine the different elements / building blocks for the end result.

Boolean operators

To be able to combine your search terms and search actions you need boolean operators. You can use:

AND = articles with all search terms

​OR   = articles with one or another or all search terms

Combining via the search history

Pubmed remembers all your search actions. Via 'Advanced' you will find your search history.  


  • Click on ••• under 'Actions' next to the search you want to combine
  • Choose 'Add query'
  • The search will be added to the 'Query box'


  • Click again on ••• under 'Actions' next to the following search you want to combine
  • Choose 'Add with AND'
  • The search will be added in the 'Query box' to the previously added search
  • If necessary, add more searches this way


  • Click on undefined if you have added all the search actions you want to combine
  • By standing in the 'Search' button on the arrow you can change the button to 'Add to history'
    You then will stay in the search history and see the number of items found in your combined search appear in the 'History and Search Details' overview.
    You can still performing the search and view the results by clicking on the number under 'Results'. | Disclaimer | Over Zuyd Bibliotheek