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PubMed Guide: PubMed basic search

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PubMed basic search

Type your search words (heart failure, exercise ) in search box. PubMed connects the search words automatically with AND-operator.
PubMed uses a process called Automatic Term Mapping. This interprets and expands your search by matching your search words to subjects (Medical Subject Headings) and searching for synonyms, plural forms and British/American translations. To see how your search words were translated, check the Search Details available on the Advanced Search page for each query under History. 



Truncation and phrase search

If you truncate search words or use quotation marks in phrase search, Automatic Term Mapping is turned off.  Start searching with whole words in basic form and edit the search, if you are not satisfied with the results. It can be useful to truncate search words, if your search does not get all desired word variations. To be able to truncate a search word, it has to contain at least four letters.

F.ex. toxic* finds toxic, toxcity, toxicology, toxicological etc.

F.ex. "critical path*" finds critical path, critical pathway, critical pathways etc.

F.ex. "new graduate* nurse*" finds "new graduated nurses", but "newly graduate* nurse*" has to be searched separately because word new is too short for truncation.


Alternative search words in the search string

If your search string includes alternative search words, combine them with OR-operator. If you use both AND- and OR-operator in the same search string, you need to add brackets. 

F.ex. ("clinical path**" OR "critical path*" OR "care path*") AND digital*

F.ex. (dementia OR alzheimer*) AND (canine* OR dog*) AND therap*