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_KINS5508: Exercise Prescription for Individuals with Chronic Diseases and Health Conditions — Explore PubMed: Getting Started

Library research guide for students in KINS 5508.

What Will You Learn on This Page?

In this tab of the research guide, you will learn:

Once you've engaged with all the content on this page, you should:

What is PubMed?

PubMed is a free database provided by the US government. It primarily consists of MEDLINE, a database of over 30 million citations from the biomedical literature.

If you've searched MEDLINE on other platforms (like OVID or EBSCO), the different is that PubMed also includes PubMed Central, an archive of full-text journal articles; and the Bookshelf, an archive of books, reports, and other materials.

How Does PubMed Search?

PubMed's default search uses Automatic Term Mapping (ATM) to make an educated guess as to what you're looking for. The most important thing ATM checks for is whether there is a good match within PubMed's controlled vocabulary (MeSH, or Medical Subject Headings).

ATM is fine, but in a comprehensive search, you'll want to have more control of what PubMed is doing. That means:

  • Using the Advanced search box
  • Identifying appropriate controlled vocabulary (which you'll then add to your concept table)
  • Constructing your own complex search strings and combining them thoughtfully
  • Using search tags to tell PubMed where to search for terminology from your concept table

Searching PubMed's Controlled Vocabulary: MeSH

As I mentioned in the previous section of this guide, controlled vocabulary is the specialized language used by a database to describe the citations within it. The controlled vocabulary used in PubMed is called MeSH, or Medical Subject Headings.

Below are two videos about finding the right MeSH headings and documenting them in your concept table. They approach the process in two different ways, so be sure to watch them both!

Now you can do some searching of your own! Here's the link to the MeSH database if you want to start experimenting right away.

What's Next?

Have you:

Then you're ready to move on to the next tab, Explore PubMed: Executing a Search!