PubMed: Finding studies

lightbulbAfter my last post, I heard from quite a few people asking how they could find MECP2 Duplication Syndrome research articles and some wanted to more specifically know how to find articles from specific countries. PubMed is a great tool for finding this kind of information and it is available for free to everyone thanks to the the United States National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. For those interested in finding research articles who are not already using PubMed or other similar tools, here is some basic information to help get you started.

A good place to start is this PubMed web Page. This provides a search window and and lots of helpful hints and tutorials that can help you use this database to find the information you are looking for.

If you want to become an expert or if you get stuck, you can watch some of the tutorials, but most people can find what they are looking for if they dive right in and do some searching. So here is an example.

At the top of the page the search window looks like this.


Where it says Books, change this pulldown menu to PubMed.


Put your search term in the search window. I used MECP2 Duplication, this term will automatically expand to include other related terms. Click Search and the results will load in a few seconds.

As you will see, this produces a long list of articles related to MECP2 Duplication Syndrome

You may want to narrow the search to a specific author, year, affiliation, or topic (e.g., seizures, respiratory).

To do this, you can build and advanced search, go to this page.  The search builder looks like this:



In this example, I am looking for studies that address MECP2 Duplication where at least one of the researchers is affiliated with a German research program. Putting MECP2 Duplication in the first “All Fields” window identifies all those articles. Then using the second Field menu, “All Fields” can be changed to “Affiliation” and placing Germany in that window will limit the results to articles that have at least one researcher that lists Germany in their affiliation.

Simply click on search for the results. Notice that as soon as something is added to the second window, a third search window appears. This can be left blank or filled with another limiter (e.g., a specific year or topic).

Results generally include basic information about the studies, including Abstracts that summarize the publication. Many, but not all, of the article results include Free PMC Article. This provides a link to full article (in the example here, an article about hypersensitivity to influenza A).


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