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PubMed for Dental Research: Introduction

Created by Health Science Librarians

How to Access PubMed

There is s link to Library Resources on the UNC Dentistry homepage in the footer at the bottom left.

The Health Sciences Library link takes you to the Health Sciences Library's Dentistry resources guide.

Select PubMed on this page, or on other campus library pages. PubMed links on library webpages are coded to add the Find @ UNC button that links you to online articles.

Find @ UNC

When the article is not available online, Find @ UNC links to a page with options to look for print in the library catalog or to request the article via Interlibrary Loan.

What is PubMed?

PubMed is a free web based interface for searching MEDLINE.

  • PubMed is created by the National Library of Medicine.
  • It covers journal articles in medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and the health care system.
  • PubMed has information about journal articles published in 5,200 journals in 30 languages dating back to 1949.
  • It does not include information about meeting abstracts, conference proceedings, dissertations, patents, or websites.
  • NLM indexers add words called Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) to the information about each article. Searching with MeSH words helps you find more relevant articles.

PubMed Homepage

  • You can learn more about PubMed by exploring the links provided on the Pubmed homepage.
  • Go to PubMed

PubMed Home

Sample PubMed Article Record

Below is an image of a PubMed article record. Labels were added to explain the information that PubMed provides about the article:

  • Journal Name Abbreviation
  • Publication Date
  • Volume/Issue#, pages 
  • Article title
  • Author last name with first and middle initials
  • Author affiliation
  • Abstract,
  • Links to comments 
  • Links to assisgned index terms.


Remember: PubMed does NOT include the full-text of articles in its database--it links out to them. PubMed only searches the information about the article, not the full-text of the article.

Sample PubMed Record with Parts Labeled

What are MeSH Terms?

Example of MeSH Terms MeSH stands for Medical Subject Headings. These are the list of standard terms added by indexers to the article record to help improve search results.

National Libary of Medicine indexers examine articles and assign the most specific MeSH headings that describe the concepts discussed.

The indexer assigns as many MeSH headings as appropriate to cover the topics of the article (generally 5 to 15). When there is no specific heading for a concept, the indexer will use the closest, general heading available.

Indexers can also assign Subheadings to further describe a particular aspect of a MeSH concept. Examples of Subheadings in this list are: therapeutic use, physiology, surgery, drug therapy.

The indexer also assigns terms that reflect the characteristics of the group being studied: the age group, human or other animal, male or female.

(Content adapted from NLM PubMed Tutorial)