Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Navigating PubMed's New Interface

PubMed has gotten a facelift as of Oct. 27, 2009. With this sudden jolt, it may initially feel as if someone's gone into your house and re-arranged all your furniture and left you to figure out where everything now is.

Not to worry. Here are a few basic pointers to get you oriented:

The key items in the left blue menu bar of the old PubMed are now below the big image on PubMed's homepage.

Helpful key features in that section are:

(a) Single Citation Matcher - enter information to get directly to the article's abstract
(b) Clinical Queries - quickly find clinically relevant articles
(c) MeSH Database - find the terminology, medical subject headings (MeSH), that PubMed uses to index articles
(d) Journals Database - find journals on specific topics and detailed information about the journals

The Limits, History, and Clipboard tabs that were on the old PubMed no longer exist as tabs. They are now found under the Advanced Search link to the right of the search box.

For example, when you run a search and get to the results, click on the Advanced Search link to see:

(a) Search History - archives your searches for the next eight hours
(b) Search option boxes you can fill out to refine or run another search
(c) Limits - narrow your results by such factors as Type of Article, Age, Gender, Language

When viewing an abstract:

(a) Select the Display Settings link on the left above the abstract to view other formats of the abstract
(b) To send items to the Clipboard, check the box of the articles you want, and select the Send to link to the right above the results and select the Clipboard option
(c) A Clipboard icon appears when you've sent items to the Clipboard. You can save, email, or print those items.

View this short non-narrated tutorial that demonstrates the features described above.

The National Library of Medicine has made tutorials that show you through more detailed examples of how to use the new PubMed interface. These are located on PubMed's homepage, in the white space below, listed as PubMed Tutorials under the Using PubMed section.

Feel free to comment to this posting if you feel strongly one way or another about the new PubMed interface changes.

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