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PubMed Guide | Guía de PubMed

A guide to using PubMed for new and advanced users with videos, tutorials, a walkthrough exercise, and other resources. Incluye instrucciones en español.

PubMed vs. MEDLINE: How Do They Differ?

PubMed and Ovid/ProQuest MEDLINE all let you access MEDLINE, the U.S. National Library of Medicine's biomedicine bibliographic database. There are several differences between the options but the most prominent is the search interface. For details, see this Fact Sheet by the National Library of Medicine.

When to use PubMed: you are not affiliated with a university or do not have off-campus access privileges; you want to explore the MeSH database as a standalone.

When to use Ovid/ProQuest MEDLINE: you frequently use other Ovid or ProQuest databases and prefer their search interface; you want to export citations directly to RefWorks without uploading a file.

Otherwise, the choice is yours.

As an FIU affiliate you have access to MEDLINE via Ovid and ProQuest, both of which require you to use off-campus access if you are not currently at FIU. You can acccess PubMed from any location without logging in, but always go through PubMed via FIU to see which articles you can obtain through the FIU Libraries.


(Ovid or ProQuest)



National Library of Medicine (NLM), user interface provided by Ovid Technologies or ProQuest.

National Library of Medicine (NLM), user interface provided by National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).


Restricted by license to FIU affiliates.

Free to all.


1940s - present, choose from several time blocks.
Separate MEDLINE In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations file.

1940s - present.
MEDLINE In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations automatically included in search.

Full-Text Availability

Direct links to full-text articles in over 200 journals via Ovid or ProQuest in addition to providing links to other FIU e-journal collections.

Links to FIU full text options only when connected through PubMed via FIU link or when use FIU filters via My NCBI. Items are also available via FIU e-journal collections.

Document Delivery Services

No, use FIU’s ILLiad Interlibrary Loan service.

Yes, through Loansome Doc (registration required). FIU affiliates should use the ILLiad Interlibrary Loan service.

Saving Searches

Yes, through "Save Search History," queries may be saved temporarily (720 hours), permanently (indefinitely), or in the form of an "auto alert" (SDI). (Must create a personal account in Ovid or ProQuest.)

Yes, the "My NCBI" feature will save queries and provide search updates/email alerts. (Must register for "My NCBI.")

Boolean Searching


Supported, but Boolean operators must be included in all capital letters.


Supported, use $ or * as a wildcard. Wildcard usage will not map to a MeSH term.

Supported, use * as a wildcard. Wildcard usage will not map to a MeSH term.


Chart created by Kathleen Turner, Health Sciences Outreach and Liaison Librarian, Drexel University
(Adapted for FIU by Barbara M. Sorondo)

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