Skip to Main Content

Health: PubMed for UAA/APU

Tips for searching PubMed

Two Ways to Find Clinical Articles in PubMed

1.  Filter (Limit) by Article Type

Most citations in PubMed are for journal articles. However, you may limit your retrieval based on the type of articles or the type of material the articles represent. Use the Filters on the Results page sidebar and look at the Article Types checklist, which contains a list of those frequently searched.

For example, choose Randomized Controlled Trial or Clinical Trial or Meta-Analysis from the list. You could also choose more than one, in which case your search results will include both or all of those types.

This Evidence pyramid shows graphically the relative level of quality (credibility) that can be assigned to different publications for use in evidence-based practice. If you find a relevant systematic review or meta-analysis for your clinical query, you need look no further, as you have the highest quality of evidence; if not, you must look in publication types further down the pyramid and evaluate for yourself the evidence presented. 

2.  PubMed Clinical Queries Watch Video 

The Clinical Queries link is found on the PubMed home page or under the More Resources drop-down at the top of the Advanced Search page. Enter your search terms, and evidence-filtered citations will appear under Clinical Study Categories, Systematic Reviews, or Medical Genetics.

Clinical Study Categories
This specialized search query with built-in research methodology search filters is intended for clinicians. Five study categories, or filters, are provided: etiology, diagnosis, therapy, prognosis, and clinical prediction guides. Two emphasis categories, or filters, are provided: broad, sensitive search (includes relevant articles but probably some less relevant) and narrow, specific search (more precise articles, with less retrieval).
NOTE: We suggest changing to Narrow scope rather than Broad.

Systematic Reviews
This feature is provided to help clinicians locate systematic reviews and similar articles. It combines your search term(s) with citations identified as systematic reviews, meta-analyses, reviews of clinical trials, evidence-based medicine, consensus development conferences, and guidelines.

The resulting retrieval in PubMed Clinical Queries can be further refined using PubMed's Filters, e.g., English language, humans.

Finding Comparative Effectiveness Research

Comparative effectiveness research is the conduct and synthesis of research comparing the benefits and harms of different interventions and strategies to prevent, diagnose, treat, and monitor health conditions in "real world" settings.

Two specialized resources are available to inform comparative effectiveness research:

  • Comparative Effectiveness Research on the PubMed Topic-Specific Queries page. Provides specialized PubMed searches of published research and research in progress to help inform investigations of comparative effectiveness.

  • PubMed Health offers reviews of clinical effectiveness research, with easy-to-read summaries for consumers as well as full technical reports.

Why Not Try a Google Scholar Search?

Google Scholar allows broad searches of scholarly literature--articles, theses, books, abstracts, and court opinions--from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities, and other web sites. This engine searches a totally different database than Google, while using the same very effective search protocol. You may well find some unique articles here.

  • Enter keywords for your topic in the search box below and hit Search.
  • Enclose phrases in double quotes to help focus your results.
  • Use the date range filters to the left of your results if desired.
  • For more control over your search, mouse over the arrow at the left of the box, and select Advanced Search.
  • The My Citations button allows you to track citations to papers you have authored, when using Google Scholar.

Begin your Google Scholar search from the Consortium Library's list of databases to link to the full text articles licensed by the Library for use by students, faculty, and staff.  Some Google Scholar citations link back to PubMed, or provide a PDF link that displays the full article on your screen.

Use the Consortium Library's Interlibrary Loan & Doc Delivery service to request articles for any citations you find in Google Scholar.

Need Help?

Ask A LibrarianAsk A Librarian
Call, chat, email, or visit the reference desk.