Skip to main content
The University of Arizona

Evidence-based Decision Making (EBDM) and Journal Club Guide: PubMed and NCBI

This guide is intended as a general resource for all things related to EBDM--with a specific focus on students, trainees, and faculty who are participating in journal clubs.

What is the National Library of Medicine?

Although to many people, the U.S.National Library of Medicine is synonymous with PubMed, it is much more. It is part of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland and is the world's most comprehensive medical library. With partner organizations it maintains multiple databases including, but not limited to: 

PubMed Help

What's the difference between MEDLINE, PubMed and Medline Plus?

MEDLINE® is a database created and maintained by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It currently has over 22 million references to journal articles in medicine and the life sciences.

PubMed is NLM’s platform for providing access to the citations and abstracts in MEDLINE, along with many additional features which are summarized in the PubMed Fact Sheet. PubMed is freely accessible anywhere in the world with an internet connection.

Many of the articles indexed in PubMed are freely available via PubMed Central.  A majority of articles, however, are only accessible through institutional subscriptions to the journals in which the articles appear. Therefore, be sure to choose the “UA/UAHN Health Network Only” option from our home page when you want to access the full text of articles. Be aware that when you search MEDLINE, either with keywords or with MeSH, you are searching the title and abstract of the article, and not the whole text of the article itself. 

In addition to PubMed, the MEDLINE database is also available to University of Arizona students and faculty through OvidSP, which provides a different search interface and slightly different functionality than the PubMed interface. Unlike PubMed, Ovid Medline is only available through an institutional subscription.

Link to PubMed Tutorials
Link to PubMed (UA/UAHN)
Link to OvidSP MEDLINE

Unlike PubMed, which is geared towards health professionals, MedlinePlus, also created and maintained by the National Library of Medicine, is a website for consumers. MedlinePlus is a completely open access/free resource for patients and their families and friends. It contains summaries of health topics, images, videos, tutorials, drugs/herbs/supplements information, a medical dictionary, medical encyclopedia, and directories. The entire site is available in Spanish and many of the materials are also available in many other languages such as Chinese, Russian, Somali, and Tagalog.


Saving Searches (My NCBI)


Collections and Bibliographies (My NCBI)


Preferences and Filters (My NCBI)