Searching PubMed - AHSL - Nursing


in another browser window to work through this tutorial side by side.

Connecting to PubMed from AHSL

1 of 2

To connect to PubMed from the AHSL (Arizona Health Sciences Library) home page, select the "Top Resources" tab. On the Top Resources page, select "PubMed UA/UAHN Only"

We always access PubMed from the AHSL home page so that we will be able to link to the full text of articles owned by library. 

If you are off campus, you will be prompted to enter your Net ID and password. 

To proceed through this tutorial, click on the right arrow located at the bottom of the page.


To enable linking to the full text of journal articles owned by the library, you must access PubMed in the following way:

Locating the MeSH Database

1 of 2

You are now on PubMed's home page. PubMed is the world's premier medical database. PubMed contains MEDLINE and additional article citations related to medicine, nursing, public health, pharmacy and the biological sciences. The focus of PubMed is clinical medicine. PubMed is free and open to anyone in the world.

Librarians read the articles in PubMed and assign indexing terms (controlled vocabulary terms) to each article. These indexing terms are called MeSH Headings and they describe the subjects/topics contained within each article. 

We are going to create our search strategy using MeSH, Medical Subject Headings. Searching with MeSH will give us a more relevant, accurate set of search results.

Start your search by selecting "MeSH Database" which is located under "More Resources" on the right side of PubMed's home page.

MeSH is the controlled vocabulary of PubMed. 

Creating Your PubMed Search Strategy

1 of 2

We will use MeSH Database to locate the MeSH Headings for our search on fall prevention in the elderly. We search for each of the MeSH Headings one at a time. Our first search component is fall prevention.    

Type  falls into the MeSH search box located at the top of the page.  Click on the blue "Search" button.

PubMed gives us a list of possible MeSH Headings for our search. Select the MeSH Heading "Accidental Falls," by clicking directly on the highlighted MeSH Heading. See below:

Using Subheadings

1 of 2

Each MeSH Heading has a set of  subheadings. Subheadings allow us to focus on a particular aspect(s) of our topic. We are searching for articles on the prevention of falls in the elderly. Select the subheading "prevention and control" as shown in the image below:

 Now select "Add to search builder" as shown in the image below.

 Our first MeSH Heading is now in the PubMed search builder as shown below:

Adding Additional MeSH Headings

1 of 2

We are ready to select the next MeSH Heading for our search. Type "elderly" into the MeSH search box at the top of the page. Click on the blue "Search" button. From the list of possible MeSH Headings, click directly on the highlighted MeSH Heading "Aged." We are not going to select any subheadings for Aged because they are not relevant to our search.

Click on "Add to search builder."

 The PubMed search builder now contains both of the MeSH Headings for our search. See below:

All of our MeSH Headings are in the PubMed search builder.  We are ready to search PubMed. Select "Search PubMed

Using PubMed Filters to Limit Search Results

1 of 2

Our PubMed search retrieved over 3,000 articles. Using PubMed filters, we can limit our search results. On the left side of the PubMed screen, select the filters for articles published in the past five years and human species. To select the filters for our search, click directly on "5 years" and "Humans." See below:

To view more PubMed search filters, click on "Show additional filters" and select the filters you wish to use from the menu.You can choose as many search filters as you want to limit your search results. For our search, we are not selecting any additional filters. 

Which answer about  PubMed search filters is correct?

Viewing Abstracts and Sending Results to Email/RefWorks

To view abstracts and the links to the full text of articles owned by the library, select "Display Settings. " ("Display Settings is located at the top of the page.)

On the "Display Settings menu, select "Abstract" and "Apply" as shown below:

 To select PubMed articles, click on the check box next to the article. To send PubMed search results to an email account, select "Send to" and "E-mail." PubMed results can only be sent to one email at a time. To send results to a second email, repeat the process of "Send to" and "E-mail."

To send your search results to RefWorks or EndNote, select "Send to" and "Citation manager." PubMed will save your selected articles in a text file in your computer. You would use the import features of EndNote or RefWorks to import the text file of your PubMed search results into an EndNote Library or a RefWorks folder. 

 Note: At the end of this tutorial, there is an option to email the results of your quiz to your professor. Do not email your quiz results to your professor. 



Please enter your name and email address to retrieve a copy of your completed quiz.

You can enter multiple email addresses separated by commas. If you are doing this for a class, you may need to enter your instructor's email address also.


What did you think of this tutorial?