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RHB 784: Res Design/Measure Rehab Sc II: PubMed

Using PubMed in a Systematic Review

I recommend constructing your initial search in PubMed and then translating the search into other databases. 

This page has information on MeSH, My NCBI and using the Advanced Search feature of PubMed because these PubMed features will help you construct a systematic review search. 

About My NCBI

Consider creating a My NCBI account.  After creating your account and signing in, you can:

Use the My Bibliography feature to:

  • Save searches and/or collections of citations and manage them online
    • Search by subject, author, or journal
    • Can use PubMed limits and MeSH subheadings for a very focused search
    • Can search a broad topic and limit to key journals
  • Schedule automatic email alerts to your saved searches.
  • Select display formats and features like highlighting search terms in result lists
  • Choose filters to group and manage your results

More information?  Check our our My NCBI Research Guide.

PubMed indexes articles using a controlled vocabulary,  Medical Subject Headings (MeSH®).  A specific set of terms is assigned to describe each article. This provides consistency and uniformity so all articles about a certain subject will be retrieved, even if different terms for the concept are used in the article, like myocardial infarction and heart attack. 

MeSH terms are arranged in a hierarchical categorized manner called "MeSH Tree Structures" and are updated annually.

Familiarity with this vocabulary will make you a better PubMed searcher. You can find MeSH terms and search PubMed with them using the MeSH Database. Learn how by viewing the video.

Advanced Search allows you to see your search history and build searches as shown below.PubMed Search box showing Advanced Link

Combine result sets by using AND, OR or NOT using the search history numbers. Click on the "Items found" link to rerun a search.

You can also search using the Search Builder, a way to to construct a search one concept at a time.  Learn how by watching the Advanced Searching video.  

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