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United States National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health

Fact Sheet
What's the Difference Between MEDLINE® and PubMed®?

MEDLINE is the largest component of PubMed (, the freely accessible online database of biomedical journal citations and abstracts created by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM®). Approximately 5,200 journals published in the United States and more than 80 other countries have been selected and are currently indexed for MEDLINE. A distinctive feature of MEDLINE is that the records are indexed with NLM's controlled vocabulary, the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH®).

In addition to MEDLINE citations, PubMed also contains:

One of the ways users can limit their retrieval to MEDLINE citations in PubMed is by selecting MEDLINE from the Subsets menu on the Limits screen.

Other PubMed services include:

NLM distributes all but approximately 2% of all citations in PubMed to those who formally lease MEDLINE from NLM.

See the PubMed Overview, the PubMed Help, and the MEDLINE/PubMed Resources Guide for additional information on PubMed's content, features, and searching.

Last reviewed: 22 April 2008
Last updated: 22 April 2008
First published: 10 July 2002
Metadata| Permanence level: Permanent: Stable Content