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Assignment | Research Proposal (Elder): PubMed Search

BIOLH 1406 | Prof. Michael Elder (Fall 2023)

PubMed Intro

PubMed search box with arrow pointing out Advanced Search

If you're familiar with using Boolean operators in search (e.g. crispr AND therapeutics) , you can build an advanced search without going through the guided "Advanced" search page.

Filter Your Results

Filter Type Explanation
Results by Year Click and drag or type new dates in to limit. There's also Publication Date down the list.
Text Availability Don't feel limited to just the Free full text -- you can do an interlibrary-loan request through LSC to get article text (with a short delay for processing the request.)
Article Attribute

Filter to articles with Associated Data - i.e. articles with data citations, data availability statements, and supplementary materials. Read more about associated data.

Other options in this section could include article properties, funder, license, collection, or more.

Article Type

Trials are primary sources: the authors conducted original research and are reporting on it.

Meta-Analysis processes data (previously collected through trials or experiments) to see if there's new conclusions that can be drawn. Read more on meta-analysis in medical research.

Reviews are a review of the literature.

Systematic reviews are like the whole of what you're creating for this assignment with hypotheses tested through an analysis of the literature. Read more about the systematic reviews filter.

Publication Date Like Results by Year, but you can quickly just select 1 year, 5 year, and 10 year ranges before fiddling with a custom range.

Additional Filters

Article Type (again) This is the longer list of article types. Most of what you need will be covered in the initial selection for this. Maybe Case Reports would be interesting.
Species Human vs Other Animals: who was studied?
Language Article language > English.
Sex Male or Female: which group did a study focus on.
Journal Where was the article published.
Age Different age groups with varying granularity. Filters results to articles/studies that looked at those ages.


Advanced Search is Weird Compared to Library Databases

Rather than just providing multiple fields, their Advanced Search is more of a builder. You figure out what you want to add to your search one thing at a time.

PubMed advanced search with the search operator options expanded to show NOT and OR

The "query box" is just showing everything put together. Click "Search" to run it.

All Fields

You can leave your search terms to the default "All Fields" -- meaning it appears anywhere, or you can get pickier by picking criteria from that dropdown to narrow your search even further.

For example, searching for CRISPR anywhere vs searching for CRISPR in abstracts.

  • The abstract is a short summary: if it mentions your term(s), it's even more likely to be of interest.