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Searching in PubMed

A guide for using PubMed, the world's largest database for biomedical and health sciences literature.

Advanced Search Builder

The Advanced Search Builder allows you to specify where you would like your search terms to appear by searching within specific fields, such as author, title/abstract, journal and many more. 

From the Advanced Search page, you can access your search history and search term details. The Advanced Search Builder also allows you to combine previous searches, and test out search terms by providing result numbers. 

Access the Advanced Search Builder from the Advanced link under the search bar on the homepage or the results page. 

To use the Advanced Search Builder: 

  • Specify the field you would like to search, enter your search terms and click Add to move your search into the Query Box.
  • Repeat to add additional search terms; change AND to OR or NOT as needed. 
  • When you have  finished adding your search terms, select Search, to search PubMed, or Add to History to save your search for the research session.

To run a previous search again, modify a previous search, or combine searches:

  • Scroll to the bottom of the Advanced Search page to the History and Search Details section. 
  • Click on the ... options in the Action Column to add the search to the Query Box.
  • Subsequent selections will provide you with AND and OR options for adding additional past searches. Add new search terms if desired.
  • History and Search Details are saved for a single research session; select Save to My NCBI to save a search for future use.
  • The Download option exports your search history to a CSV file. 

Clinical Queries

The Clinical Queries search tool provides access to resources related to clinical research areas and can be used locate targeted information such as etiology, diagnosis or treatment for a particular disease or condition.

Access Clinical queries from the PubMed homepage under the Find menu.  

Enter your search terms and click Search.

Clinical Queries search results are organized into 3 categories: Clinical Study Categories, Systematic Reviews, and Medical Genetics. The first 5 retrieved citations are displayed, with the option to view all results.

The Clinical Study Categories section includes filters to refine results by category and scope.


  • Etiology
  • Diagnosis
  • Therapy (default category)
  • Prognosis
  • Clinical prediction guides


  • Broad:  a more comprehensive search that includes relevant citations 
  • Narrow: a more precise search of relevant citations 

The Medical Genetics section includes additional topics that can be used to further refine results.