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PubMed Alternatives   Tags: allied_health, dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, subject  

Last Updated: Dec 12, 2012 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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There is more than one way to search the medical literature (PubMed/MEDLINE) stored at the National Library of Medicine. Entrez is the search engine created by NCBI to search PubMed, but just like there are multiple search engines to search the Internet (Google, Netscape, etc.) there are multiple engines that can be used to search PubMed.  As different groups and people have needed different things from the literature, they have created front-ends or 3rd party tools to search the medical literature.  Some of these PubMed interfaces are useful if your specific needs correspond to those of the search tool.

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Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences


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What do you want to do?

The most useful PubMed alternative will depend on what you need to do.  Use the link below or tab above to go to the page that covers the sites that will help with your research needs.

  • General PubMed Searching
    These search engines do a basic PubMed search but give you a little extra, like showing a subject tree, ranking articles or analyzing your results.
  • Specialty Searching
    Do you need genetics or protein information? Do you want to text-mine for connections between research areas? How about searching for animal alternatives for research? One of these specialty search engines might help.
  • Vizualizing Information
    Do you want a map or diagram showing how articles are connected? Some search engines can do it for you.
  • Mobile/PDA Versions
    There are several apps to search PubMed from your phone or PDA.

Why use PubMed?

For most biomedical searching, PubMed will be your best choice of search engine. 

PubMed provides:

  • access to over 5,000 journals in the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, health care systems, and preclinical sciences.
  • links to molecular biology resources and other data from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). 
  • My NCBI  accounts for automatic emails on topics of interest. 
  • search using keyword, Medical Subject Headings (MeSH), author, title, journal, phrases, or any cobination of these.
  • limit based on date, age, gender, article type, or by special clinical queries.

NOTE: The early testing for this research was presented at the Annual Meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Chaper of the Medical Library Association(MLA).  The most recent evaluation was presented at the 2010 MLA Annual Meeting.


Personalized Information Services

If you have not found what you are looking for in 10 minutes ... it's time to call me.

As your librarian I provide many information based services for free, including:

  • Systematic Reviews - assistance with searching, citation management, and appraisal.
  • Expert Literature Searches
  • Evidence Based Practice Searches
  • Citation Management assistance
  • and more.

I can also come to your office, lab or facutly meeting, or class to give presentations on:

  • PubMed, Web of Science, BIOSIS, or any other VCU Libraries resource
  • Setting up an account for RefWorks, personal or group
  • Finding images or protocols

Director, Research Data Management

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Margaret Henderson
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