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United States National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health

Fact Sheet
PubMed®: MEDLINE® Retrieval on the World Wide Web

PubMed ( is available on the Entrez retrieval system, and was developed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the National Library of Medicine® (NLM).


In addition to MEDLINE citations, PubMed also contains:


NLM's bibliographic database of citations and abstracts currently from approximately 5,000 biomedical journals published in the United States and worldwide. Coverage extends back to 1950.

All citations in MEDLINE are assigned Medical Subject Headings (MeSH®) from NLM's controlled vocabulary to assist users in their searches.

For additional information on MEDLINE see the MEDLINE/PubMed Resources Guide.

PubMed is Easy to Use

Simply enter your search topics - one or more terms - and click Go. PubMed can be searched using MeSH terms, author names, title words, text words or phrases, journal names, or any combination of these. Retrieved citations are displayed and their associated abstracts can be selected for viewing. A unique feature of PubMed is the ability to instantly find related articles for any citation.

Additional search modes offer the ability to perform more complex searches by specifying data fields, age groups, gender, or human or animal studies. A special clinical queries page provides customized searches for studies based on etiology, diagnosis, prognosis, or treatment of a particular disease. Systematic reviews of a topic and medical genetics can also be searched here. Search results can be viewed or downloaded in various formats, including a format suitable for bibliographic management software.

PubMed's LinkOut feature provides access to a wide variety of relevant web-accessible online resources, including full-text publications, biological databases, consumer health information, research tools, and more. Currently approximately forty percent of PubMed records are linked to the full-text on publishers' web sites. Users may have to register, or there may be a fee or subscription required to access the full-text.

Publisher Participation

Publishers whose journals are indexed in MEDLINE are encouraged to submit citation and abstract data electronically for inclusion in PubMed. Electronic submissions ensure that citations and abstracts are available to the public more rapidly, assignment of MeSH terms will take place more quickly, and each citation can display a link to the publisher's web site for access to full-text. Publishers are also encouraged to submit full text for inclusion in PubMed Central.

Further Information

Contact the National Library of Medicine at (888) 346-3656 or by email at:

Mailing Address
National Center for Biotechnology Information
National Library of Medicine
Bldg. 38A, Room 8N-803
8600 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20894

A complete list of NLM Fact Sheets is available at:
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or write to:

Office of Communications and Public Liaison
National Library of Medicine
8600 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20894

Phone: (301) 496-6308
Fax: (301) 496-4450

Last reviewed: 11 December 2006
Last updated: 25 April 2008
First published: 07 June 2002
Metadata| Permanence level: Permanent: Stable Content