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Searching in PubMed: Managing Search Results

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

Save, Email, Send To Options

Save, Email and Send To options are located directly above your search results. 

Each of these actions provide the option to send the:

  • Current page of results.
  • All results.
  • Selected results.

Save provides a txt or csv file download of results in various formats.

Email allows sharing of results in various formats via email.

Send To sends PubMed search results to the following locations:

  • Clipboard: a tool to store records temporarily to use within a single research session.
  • My Bibliography: a reference tool that helps you save your citations within your My NCBI dashboard.
  • Collections: a collection of records, to save indefinitely within your My NCBI dashboard.
  • Citation Manager: an external tool or platform for storing and organizing citations.  

To apply Send To options to My NCBI locations, make sure you are first logged in to your My NCBI account.

Exporting Results to a Citation Management Tool

To import results into a citation manager:

  1. Run a search in PubMed.
  2. Select the Send to option above the search results.
  3. From the Send to menu, select Citation Manager.
  4. Select the results you would like to export (current page, selected items, all results).
  5. Click Create file to downloaded a .ris file (Research Information System) or a .nbib file. 
    1. .ris and .nbib files are compatible with most mangers including RefWorks, Mendeley, Zotero, and EndNote. 
  6. Open your citation manager and import the saved .ris or .nbib file. This may take a minute or so if you are importing a large number of results. 

If you wish to export a single record from PubMed, use the Cite option located directly under the result to download the .nbib file. Import the .nbib file to your citation manager.

Saving Searches & Search Alerts

Use the Create Alert feature to :

  • Permanently save search strategies and retrieve results as needed.
  • Create a search alert to receive updates via email with new publications that fit your search criteria. 

Locate the Create Alert feature under the search bar on the results page.

To save a search:

  1. Run a Search in PubMed.
  2. Click “Create Alert” (Sign in to My NCBI).
  3. Update the “Name of Saved Search.”
  4. Under e-mail updates, select “No, Thanks.”
  5. Click Save.

To create a Search Alert:

  1. Run a Search in PubMed.
  2. Click “Create Alert” (Sign in to My NCBI).
  3. Update the “Name of Saved Search.”
  4. Under e-mail updates, select “Yes, Please.”
  5. Choose and select your options, including:
    1. E-mail address.
    2. Alert Frequency/Schedule.
    3. Formats.
    4. Number of Items.
  6. Click Save.

Manage saved searched and search alerts through your My NCBI dashboard.