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PHM101 Research Skills Guide: Medline

Introduction to MEDLINE / PubMed

MEDLINE is recognized as the premier index of biomedical literature. It is produced by the United States National Library of Medicine and covers thousands of international journals from 1950. Medline can be used to find primary EBP research.

The search tips below are for using Medline in the Ovid platform.

PubMed is essentially the free version of MEDLINE. One advantage of using PubMed is that access is free, which means that you will have access after you complete your studies.

If you are interested in the difference between MEDLINE and PubMed, the National Library of Medicine has a fact-sheet.

And for tips on searching in PubMed, please see PubMed Help

Advanced Medline

Searching in MEDLINE

  • Ovid Medline search screenThe default is to the Advanced Search screen. There is only one line of search, so for more complex searches you will need to use Nesting (see Searching in a database for information on nesting searches), or run your searches individually and then combine them.
  • There are other Search Modes available. With Basic Search, you can simply type in exactly what you are searching for, and the results will be sorted by Relevance.
  • The default is to a phrase search so typing in oral surgery will search for that as a phrase.
  • There are many limiters available. Some of these you can apply at the time of your search, others - Additional Limits - can only be applied to a search you have already run.
  • MEDLINE is primarily an index, but does have some links to full-text. For results where there is no full-text link, click on the Find it at CSU link to search for the full article in other CSU Library databases.
  • Searches are recorded in the Search History panel which is above the Search panel.



""In the Medline database, try searching for the keywords – "evidence based practice" AND pharmacy AND (patient* OR healthcare) entered as in the example below (quotations marks "" are used to create a phrase search, AND is a boolean operator, the brackets () are a nesting tool used to create a logical search string & the asterix * is a truncation symbol used to expand a search, see the Search Strategies page for more information).

Alternatively you could try searching for the search terms or key concepts you identified from your own assignment topic.

Note: You may need to sign in first with your CSU username and password

  • Look at the HTML and PDF links to access the full text of the article. Hint: as Medline is primarily an index you will not find many full text links, however you can follow thelink(s) to find out if you can access the article in another database.

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