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Engineering: Biomedical

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MedLine Plus

MedlinePlus is a reputable online resource for health information, primarily from the National Library of Medicine. When using MedlinePlus to search for health-related information, it's important to use effective search strategies to find the most relevant and reliable information. Here are some tips for using MedlinePlus effectively:

  1. Start with a Clear Question or Topic:

    • Begin your search with a specific question or topic in mind. Clear and focused queries will yield more relevant results.
  2. Use Keywords and Phrases:

    • Use relevant keywords and phrases related to your topic. Include medical terms, condition names, symptoms, and other specific terms to narrow down your search.
  3. Use Boolean Operators:

    • MedlinePlus supports Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) to help refine your search. For example, use "AND" to combine multiple keywords and "OR" to broaden your search. "NOT" can be used to exclude specific terms.
  4. Use Quotation Marks:

    • To search for an exact phrase, enclose it in double quotation marks. This is useful for finding information related to specific medical conditions or treatments.
  5. Filter by Type of Information: 

  • MedlinePlus offers filters to narrow down search results by category, such as articles, videos, or clinical trials. Use these filters to find the type of information you need.

  1. Explore the A-Z Index: 
  • MedlinePlus provides an A-Z index of health topics, which can be useful if you're not sure where to start. Browse the index to find relevant topics and articles.

  1. Explore Health Topics: 

    • The "Health Topics" section of MedlinePlus offers an extensive list of health conditions and issues. Click on a topic to find a wealth of information related to that specific condition or topic.

  1. Check for Additional Resources:

    • MedlinePlus often includes links to other reputable sources of information. These external resources can provide more in-depth information or alternative perspectives.
  2. Be Critical of the Information:

    • Always evaluate the credibility of the information you find. While MedlinePlus is generally reliable, it's essential to verify information from multiple sources, especially if it's related to a critical health decision.


PubMed is an online database that provides access to a vast collection of biomedical and life sciences literature. It is maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), a branch of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. PubMed contains articles, abstracts, and citations from a wide range of sources, including scientific journals, research papers, and clinical studies.

Here are some search tips specific to using PubMed:

  1. Use Relevant Keywords:

    • Start with clear and specific keywords related to your research topic. Think about the key terms, medical conditions, genes, or molecules associated with your study.
  2. Apply Boolean Operators:

    • Use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) to refine your search. "AND" narrows your search by combining terms, "OR" broadens it, and "NOT" excludes specific terms.
  3. Use MeSH Terms

    • PubMed employs Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) to categorize and index articles. MeSH terms can help you find articles more precisely. Use the MeSH database to identify and include relevant terms in your search.

  1. Utilize Truncation and Wildcards:

    • Truncation (using an asterisk, e.g., "child*") and wildcards (using "?" or "$," e.g., "wom$n") can be used to find variations of words, which is especially useful when searching for terms with different endings or spellings.
  2. Apply Filters:

    • PubMed offers filters for various criteria such as publication date, article type (e.g., clinical trials, reviews, case reports), and species. These filters can help you narrow down your search results.

  1. Check for Open Access Articles:

    • PubMed provides a filter for open access articles, which are freely available to everyone. This can be helpful for students who may not have access to subscription-based journals.
  2. Use Field Tags

    • PubMed allows you to specify where to search for your keywords using field tags. For example, [Title/Abstract] searches for terms in the title and abstract of articles.

  1. Save and Set Up Alerts

    • Create a My NCBI account to save searches and set up email alerts for new articles on your research topic. This can help you stay updated on the latest research.

  1. Cite and Export:

  • PubMed allows you to export citations to citation management software like EndNote, RefWorks, or Zotero. This can simplify the process of organizing and citing your sources.
  1. Evaluate Credibility:

    • While PubMed contains a wide range of articles, it's crucial to evaluate the credibility of the sources. Look for articles published in reputable journals and peer-reviewed sources.

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