If you have searched the literature via PubMed in the last few weeks you probably noticed a fresh format. The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has operated PubMed as a public, online database since 1996, and it launched the “new PubMed” online in late 2019. However, it was not until May that it became the default for users landing at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/. The overhaul represents not just a new web interface, but a new search system, which was developed with the feedback of researchers, librarians, clinicians, patient health advocates, and others.
So what is new? The web interface – which is fully functional on mobile devices – looks moderately different. Navigation features were designed to be more intuitive and responsive. Based on my experience, it may take a few minutes to find your way around the first time, but it does operate very smoothly and the navigation feels more modern. NLM and UNMC’s McGoogan Health Sciences Library have both posted online tutorials on how to make full use of the new PubMed (see links below). Here are a few of the simple features investigators might be glad to see:
- A sidebar menu on the right-hand side appears when you open an abstract. It includes links for sharing a citation via Twitter, Facebook, or with a Permalink URL.
- The sidebar menu has a Cite feature that lets you instantly pull a citation in AMA, MLA, APA, or NLM format style. This could be a time-saver on a document that only needs a few references.
- You can page through your search results from the abstract screen.
- With a few clicks you can send citations to a citation manager like EndNote or RefWorks.
Experienced PubMed users should be glad to know that the same search practices that worked well in the old version are still recommended in the new version. You still enter search terms into the search box, and do not need to use Boolean search operators, like AND, OR, NOT, or asterisks. You can do Advanced Searches with specified criteria and can save your searches with My NCBI, as before.
According their website, "NLM will continue adding features and improving the user experience, ensuring that PubMed remains a trusted and accessible source of biomedical literature today and in the future."
UNMC McGoogan Health Sciences Library’s PubMed tutorials, freshly updated for the new version
by Matthew Sandbulte, CHRI Grant & Scientific Writer | May 26, 2020