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NRS538 Research Skills Guide: MEDLINE

Introduction to MEDLINE

MEDLINE is recognized as the premier index of biomedical literature, and includes nursing-related material. It is produced by the United States National Library of Medicine and covers thousands of international journals from 1950.

It is a subscription database which is most commonly accessed by CSU users in Ovid. This is sometimes referred to as Ovid MEDLINE.

The search tips below are for the Ovid platform. Ovid provides access to a number of health, medical, and psychology databases. If you want to search other Ovid databases at the same time, please see Searching in more than one Ovid database below.

Much of the content in MEDLINE is also available, free, in PubMed. One advantage of using PubMed is that you don't need any sort of subscription, which means that you will have access after you complete your studies.

If you are interested in the difference between MEDLINE and PubMed, the NLM has a fact-sheet.

Searching Ovid MEDLINE

MEDLINE is available in a number of date ranges in Ovid so here are some tips on searching in Ovid:

  • The 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, in this guide, Nesting) 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 refugee health 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.
  • You can do a Proximity Search: the proximity operator is ADJn, where n is the number of words you specify. Eg. refugee health ADJ5 australia*
  • 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. If you can't see all of your previous searches, click on the Expand button to the right of the Search history panel.
  • If you wish to permanently save searches, search alerts, or manage research, you need a personal account in Ovid.Here's how to set it up:
  1. At the top right of screen, click on My Account.
  2. At the right of screen, Create Account.
  3. Follow the instructions and prompts to set up your new Account.
  4. Make a note of your login and password for future use!

For individual help with using Ovid, please contact the Library or use the Library forum in the NRS538 Interact2 site.

Searching in more than one database in Ovid

The instructions on this page refer to using MEDLINE in the Ovid platform. If you want to search more extensively in Ovid, you can search across multiple databases at the same time. There are two ways you can do this ...

Ovid platform Change resource link1. When already searching in any Ovid database, you can click on the Change link in the search panel, then select other databases in the tick-box menu. You will search across all the databases that are ticked.



Go to the Ovid menu of databases and select the databases in which you wish to search.

Ovid databases menu

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