Skip to main content
Research Guides

TL1 Program Library Guide: PubMed & Google Scholar Examples

Searching With MeSH Terms

An indexed article in PubMed will be tagged with several MeSH terms that describe the content of the article.

When you type your search terms, PubMed will search with your words and will also search with similar MeSH terms in order to expand your search.

  • PubMed will NOT add MeSH terms if you use quotation marks around your search terms like this: "hiv transmission"
  • PubMed will NOT add MeSH terms if you use an asterisk to search for variations of a word like this: prevent*
  • PubMed will NOT add MeSH terms if you tell it to search a different field, like the title: cardiomyocyte[ti]

How can I find useful MeSH terms?

  • Look at "Search Details" to see what MeSH terms PubMed added to your search.
  • Look up a relevant article.  In the abstract view, see what MeSH terms were applied.
  • Search the MeSH database.

Creating a PubMed Alert - Step #1

For each concept, consider using a combination of MeSH terms and words or phrases you'd expect to find in the title or abstract of a useful article.

In this example, we are looking for articles on gunshot wounds AND subsequent/recurring injuries.

In Advanced Search, enter words for each concept on a different line.  Combine with AND.  Search.


Creating a PubMed Alert - Set #2

When you have your search results, click on "Create Alert" under the search box.  Follow the prompts to save the search in your MyNCBI account and set up email alerts.


Find Publications That Cite an Important Article - Using Google Scholar

Compared to other databases, Google Scholar typically finds the most publications that cite a given article. 

When you find an article in Google Scholar, click on "Cited by" underneath the reference to see publications that have cited it.

On the left side of the screen, click on "Create Alert" if you want to be notified when new publications cite this article.  You will need to create a free Google account in order to do this.