PubMed is a free resource supporting the search and retrieval of biomedical and life sciences literature with the aim of improving health–both globally and personally.
The PubMed database contains more than 36 million citations and abstracts of biomedical literature. It does not include full text journal articles; however, links to the full text are often present when available from other sources, such as the publisher’s website or PubMed Central (PMC).
Available to the public online since 1996, PubMed was developed and is maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), at the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), located at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
About the Content
Citations in PubMed primarily stem from the biomedicine and health fields, and related disciplines such as life sciences, behavioral sciences, chemical sciences, and bioengineering.
PubMed facilitates searching across several NLM literature resources:
MEDLINE is the largest component of PubMed and consists primarily of citations from journals selected for MEDLINE; articles indexed with MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) and curated with funding, genetic, chemical and other metadata.
PubMed Central (PMC)
Citations for PubMed Central (PMC) articles make up the second largest component of PubMed.
PMC is a full text archive that includes articles from journals reviewed and selected by NLM for archiving (current and historical), as well as individual articles collected for archiving in compliance with funder policies.
The final component of PubMed is citations for books and some individual chapters available on Bookshelf.
Bookshelf is a full text archive of books, reports, databases, and other documents related to biomedical, health, and life sciences.
- For how-to information on searching the PubMed database, see the PubMed User Guide.
- For additional PubMed documentation, visit NLM’s MEDLINE and PubMed resources guide.
Last update: August 15, 2023