Skip to Main Content
Monash Health Library
If you have an exact title add ti= (eg. ti=Emergency Medicine)

PubMedClick here to chat with a librarian

PubMed is a freely available database maintained by the US National Library of Medicine comprising over 30 million citations for articles and eBooks on biomedicine and life science topics. PubMed incorporates the whole of Medline, with additional content including very recent citations, preprint material, in-process citations, eBook citations and out-of-scope articles from Medline journals.

To link directly to journal articles in our library collection from PubMed, install LibKey nomad on your device. This will connect you with articles from the library's BrowZine bookshelf.


PubMed was developed and is maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), at the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), located at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The PubMed database contains more than 35 million citations and abstracts of biomedical literature.

PubMed is comprised of three databases, MEDLINE, Pubmed Central and Bookshelf. 

MEDLINE is available in PubMed, we recommend accessing MEDLINE on the Ovid platform, due to the search functionality and quality control. PubMed may be preferred if searching for very recent content, or if you do not have access to MEDLINE (Ovid). For more information on MEDLINE (Ovid) see our MEDLINE database guide or access through the library databases page

PubMed Central includes ahead-of-print and non-peer reviewed articles. It is important to be aware that content in PubMed is not always of high quality and includes papers that have not completed the peer review process. 

Bookshelf is a full text archive of books, reports, databases, and other documents related to biomedical, health, and life sciences. 

The following video provides an overview of PubMed.

Selecting & exporting results

Results can be exported to Excel or a text file.

  1. To export all citations, click "Save" then select "All results" from the "Selection" drop-down menu. Alternatively, select the citations you would like to export and click "Save".
  2. Select your preferred format from the drop-down menu (e.g. excel or text).
  3. Click "Create file".


Download LibKey Nomad in your preferred browser to find full-text PDFs quickly and easily. After downloading the browser extension, set your organisation to 'Monash Health Library'. When exporting database results in Embase, a LibKey Link will be added to your Word or Excel file.

Basic Search

  • For topic searches, enter keywords in search box.
  • PubMed automatically adds and searches relevant subject headings and synonyms. Truncation and quotation marks aren't recommended. Also see our Boolean Operators by Database Platform chart to clarify what syntax PubMed uses. 
  • For author searches, enter author's last name and initials, without punctuation.
  • If you know the title of the article you are looking for, enter title of article in search box.

More information about searching in pubmed click here

Advanced Search

  • Build Searches with multiple keywords
  • Enables use of MeSH terms 
  • Save and download searches.

Clinical Queries 

PubMed Clinical Queries is designed for clinicians looking for evidence-based literature, and limits results to either Covid-19 articles or Clinical Study Categories. Clinical Study Categories include Therapy, Clinical Prediction Guides, Diagnosis, Etiology and Prognosis. Select Broad Scope to maximise sensitivity and find more results, select Narrow Scope to maximise specificity and find fewer, more specific, results. 

For more information on using PubMed Clinical Queries see: 

Searching Using MeSH

Pubmed uses Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) thesaurus.

It is a managed thesaurus of controlled terms used by the National Library of Medicine to describe the subject matter of articles in PubMed and MEDLINE.The main PubMed search box will automatically add relevant MeSH to a keyword search. To search using subject headings, select "Advanced Search" and select MeSH Major Topic, Subheading or Terms from the drop down menu. Enter keyword in the search box, then select "Show Index" to see suggested headings.

PubMed is a free resource supporting the search and retrieval of biomedical and life sciences literature. The PubMed database contains more than 35 million citations and abstracts of biomedical literature. Key areas of PubMed include:

  • Advanced Search - for more targeted searches and to build a more complex search.
  • Clinical Queries - PubMed Clinical Queries is designed for clinicians looking for evidence-based literature, and limits results to either Covid-19 articles or Clinical Study Categories.
  • Bookshelf - Bookshelf provides free online access to books and documents in life science and healthcare
  • MeSH Database - Database of Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) thesaurus is a controlled vocabulary produced by the National Library of Medicine and used for indexing, cataloging, and searching for biomedical and health-related information and documents.

For more information about using databases like PubMed, the Research Toolkit provides resources and guidance to those conducting research

monash health library logo



Monash Health Library provides educational resources, group training, webinars and individual consultations on evidence based practice including guidance on literature searching, appraising and managing search results.

Can’t attend our live webinars?

Custom training sessions can be arranged to fit with a team meeting or existing professional development schedule. Email for more information.

Monash Health acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land, the Wurundjeri and Boonwurrung peoples, and we pay our respects to them, their culture and their Elders past, present and future.

We are committed to creating a safe and welcoming environment that embraces all backgrounds, cultures, sexualities, genders and abilities.