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PHAR 753 - Social and Behavioral Theory Health Outcomes Research

Getting Started

PubMed is a bibliographic database that lets you search millions of journal citations and abstracts in the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, allied health and preclinical sciences. 

Obtaining Articles

Look for the the Find it @ WVU Libraries button in each article to access the full text or to request the article from Inter Library Loan.

Limits and Advanced Search

The Limits feature allow you to apply different criteria to enhance your search from the results page.  You can limit by:

  • Publication Date
  • Type of Article
  • Language
  • Species
  • Gender 
  • Age 

Advanced Search allows you to build more complicated search strings using Search Builder or to combine previous searches in your Search History. To use the Search Builder select the field where you want to search for your term and then type the term in the box.  Select the Boolean operator (AND, OR, NOT) that you want to use to connect the terms, which will then send it to the search box.  Click Search to retrieve your results.

Using Medical Subject Headings

Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) is the controlled vocabulary for PubMed. Find headings in the MeSH database on the PubMed homepage.  Using MeSH terms can help focus your search and return more relevant results.
MeSH Tips
  • Narrower subject headings listed below the heading in the hierarchy will also be included in your search (called exploding the term) unless you select the Do not include check box.
  • Entry terms for the subject heading are a good place to identify keyword synonyms for your search

Advanced Searching Tips

  • Search single concepts together using OR to combine. Then use your search history to combine concepts with AND.
  • Use the field code Title/Abstract in PubMed for your keyword searches.
  • Use the truncation symbol * to find variants of words, ie: searching therap* will return results containing therapy, therapies, therapist, etc.
  • Test your search strategy by checking to see if a few “target articles” appear in the results.
  • Use Add to history to stay on the Advanced Search page.
  • Create a free MyNCBI account to save searches.