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What’s the Difference Between MEDLINE® and PubMed®?

Mise à jour le 19 July 2020, par Anonymous, Temps de lecture estimé : 1 min.
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A frequently asked question (FAQ) is the difference between Medline and Pubmed.

Medline [1] is the largest component of PubMed [2], the freely accessible online database of biomedical journal citations and abstracts created by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM®).

Approximately 5,000 journals published in the United States and more than 80 other countries have been selected and are currently indexed for Medline. A distinctive feature of Medline is that the records are indexed with NLM’s controlled vocabulary, the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH®)

In addition to MEDLINE citations, PubMed also contains:

  • In-process citations which provide a record for an article before it is indexed with MeSH and added to MEDLINE or converted to out-of-scope status.
  • Citations that precede the date that a journal was selected for MEDLINE indexing (when supplied electronically by the publisher).
  • Some OLDMEDLINE citations that have not yet been updated with current vocabulary and converted to MEDLINE status.
  • Citations to articles that are out-of-scope (e.g., covering plate tectonics or astrophysics) from certain MEDLINE journals, primarily general science and general chemistry journals, for which the life sciences articles are indexed with MeSH for MEDLINE.
  • Some life science journals that submit full text to PubMedCentral® and may not yet have been recommended for inclusion in MEDLINE although they have undergone a review by NLM, and some physics journals that were part of a prototype PubMed in the early to mid-1990’s.

One of the ways users can limit their retrieval to MEDLINE citations in PubMed is by selecting MEDLINE from the Subsets menu on the Limits screen.

Other PubMed services include:

  • Links to many sites providing full text articles and other related resources
  • Clinical queries and Special queries search filters
  • Links to see citations to related articles
  • Single citation matcher
  • The ability to store collections of citations, and save and automatically update searches
  • A spell checker
  • Filters to group search results

NLM distributes all but approximately 2% of all citations in PubMed to those who formally lease MEDLINE from NLM.



[1MEDLINE (Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online) is a literature database of life sciences and biomedical information. It includes medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and health care. MEDLINE covers much of the literature in biology and biochemistry, and fields such as molecular evolution.

[2PubMed is a free search engine for accessing the MEDLINE database of citations and abstracts of biomedical research articles. The core subject is medicine, and PubMed covers fields related to medicine, such as nursing and other allied health disciplines. It also provides very full coverage of the related biomedical sciences, such as biochemistry and cell biology. It is offered by the United States National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health as part of the Entrez information retrieval system.



Additional information on PubMed’s content, features, and searching

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