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Ovid MEDLINE Search Instructions


Step 1 - Breaking Your Topic into Concepts and Beginning the Search

Video Demo

Size:311K | Time:00:23

Step 2 - Picking the Best MeSH Term(s) for Your Concept

Video Demo

Size:853K | Time:00:53

Step 3 - Exploding and/or Focusing A Subject Heading

Video Demo

Size:5.49MB | Time:02:02

Step 4 - Choosing Subheadings

Video Demo

Size:445K | Time:00:37

Step 5 - Combining Concepts

Video Demo

Size:2.88MB | Time:01:15

Step 6 - Limiting Your Results

Video Demo

Size:7.45MB | Time:01:17

Step 7 - Searching Specific Fields (for Author, Title, Journal, etc.)

Video Demo

Size:3.47MB | Time:02:02

Step 8 - Viewing, Printing, Emailing, and Downloading Results

Video Demo

Size:14MB | Time:01:41

Step 9 - Changing Databases or Logging Off

Video Demo

Size:3.86MB | Time:00:44

The tutorial videos were created using Macromedia Flash and optimized for a screen resolution of 1024 x 768. You can download Macromedia Flash Player here.


MEDLINE is an index that is used to find articles published in biomedical journals. MEDLINE is the electronic equivalent of a print index called Index Medicus. The electronic version covers the journal literature from 1966 to the present. It indexes article citations from over 4,000 medical journals and the entire database consists of over 11 million citations, many with abstracts.

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) produces MEDLINE, and NLM provides free access to MEDLINE through PubMed. In addition to providing the PubMed search interface, the NLM licenses the content of MEDLINE to commercial database vendors. For a fee, these vendors will provide the content of the database through an interface with different search features and capabilities than PubMed. Two such vendors are Ovid and SilverPlatter.

At Himmelfarb library, we search MEDLINE through the interface provided by Ovid. Ovid provides enhanced features that can make searching easier and more powerful. Furthermore, each citation in Ovid indicates whether it can be found in a journal owned by Himmelfarb library. Ovid also allows users to link to many of the journals that we carry full-text.

To search Ovid MEDLINE, click on Databases/MEDLINE from the left menu on the library's home page. At the top of the next screen, you can choose any one of three different MEDLINE links; each link covers a different time span of MEDLINE, with the first link covering the entire database (1966 to present).

Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library | The George Washington University
2300 Eye St., NW, Washington, DC 20037 | Phone: (202) 994-2850 | Fax: (202) 994-4343