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Literature Searching

Getting Started

This guide will explain how to do a literature search in PubMed and other biomedical databases.  Use the menu on the left side of this web page to navigate to specific topics.

About PubMed (Medline)

PubMed is the National Library of Medicine's free bibliographic database searching Medline.

  • It covers the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, and the pre-clinical sciences. 
  • As of September 2022, it contains more than 34 million citations to journal articles published in 5,600 journals in 30 languages dating back to 1946.
  • It does not include meeting abstracts, conference proceedings, dissertations, patents, or websites.
  • NLM indexers add terms called Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) to the information about each article. Searching with MeSH words helps you find more relevant articles.
  • Citations include links to full text content the OUWB journal collection, PubMed Central and publisher web sites.
  • In most cases, the PubMed database is the best place to start your literature search.

General PubMed Tutorials

Finding Full-Text Articles

When you are viewing a PubMed citation, look for the Get It @ OU Libraries icon -

Have Questions? Need Assistance?

A Librarian can conduct a one-on-one session with you on how to use the PubMed database. Feel free to call us at (248) 370-3772 or email if you have questions or need assistance with searching.