Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health

PubMed Tutorial

This online lecture and tutorial provides the basics of searching and accessing articles through PubMed, an online database of publications for health and the life sciences.

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About this Resource

This video tutorial shows medical students and researchers how to use the PubMed online database tools to search through more than 23 million article and book citations from health science literature. A lecturer from the Norris Medical Library provides an overview of PubMed's content and resources. She discusses strategies for effective search on PubMed, including function of Automatic Term Mapping, and the use of advanced tools like MeSH (Medical Subject Headings), a controlled vocabulary. Also covered is use of filters to narrow down search results. Because PubMed does not provide full text of the articles and books it cites, the lecturer shows researchers how to obtain complete articles with a USC library subscription, both online and in print, or through InterLibrary loan and journal websites.

Course Syllabus/Topics

  • Introduction to PubMed
  • PubMed Search Tools and Strategies
  • Advanced Search using MeSH
  • Using Search Results and Filters
  • Anatomy of a PubMed Citation
  • How to Access Full Text of Articles


  • Will I receive a Certificate of Completion after completing this course? No.
  • Do I need to be a K Scholar to take this course?  No. In addition to K Scholars, this course is open to faculty, clinicians, community health workers, fellows, post-docs, TL1 and F trainees, as well as medical, OT/PT, pharmacy and other students who intend to conduct research.