Tip #39: Issues with Quotes in PubMed Query Builder

Many thanks to Peter Johnson, University of Kansas Medical Center, for this week's post!  Within PubMed's Advanced Search query builder, terms may be attached to specific field tags, such as [MeSH] or [mh], and then applied to an ongoing string in the query box with specific boolean. Queries generated in this manner will appear without quotations around the entered terms. Ex. This non-application of quotations gives several considerations to an advanced searcher utilizing the query builder tool in PubMed.  Depending on the field tag used, an unquoted word or phrase may have automatic term mapping (ATM) applied to it. This can produce unexpected search results from the mapping, particularly for an unquoted term searched with the MeSH field tag where the mapping may apply to a MeSH's entry terms. The possibility ATM on an unquoted phrase attached to a field tag should be noted in each individual field tag's documentation .   A secon

Tip #38: Finding Unpublished Research Results in

Many thanks to Erica Lake (Outreach Coordinator, NNLM Region 6), and Jimithy Hawkins and Allison Yu from the product management team for sharing their expertise and time. outlines how to find studies with results published in a medical journals . However, no details are provided on how to find studies with unpublished research results.  Never fear! It is possible to perform this search on both the classic and beta websites. Classic 1. Navigate to the Find a study search box on the homepage . 2. In the Other term s search field, enter the following search string as shown: AREA[ResultsFirstSubmitDate] NOT MISSING AND NOT AREA[ReferenceType] EXPAND[Concept] "Result" 3. Click the Search button. This search will retrieve all trials that have results posted but do not have any publications relating to those results. Some studies may include other types of publications, such as those relate

Tip #37: Bulk Export from EBSCO

This topic comes up occasionally on Twitter and #medlibs listservs so I thought it would be good to make a post about it! Did you know that there is an email option for bulk exporting from EBSCO databases? It's not without its faults, but when it works, it can save you a lot of time (no more adding page-by-page of results into a folder!). Unless it is enabled for your institution, you may not even be aware that it is an option! From the upper right corner of your results list, click on the "Share" button and scroll down to "Export results." IF YOU DON'T SEE THE EXPORT RESULTS OPTION IN YOUR SHARE SCREEN , you will need to contact EBSCO Technical Support to enable this feature. You can export up to 25,000 records through this option. From the Export Manager screen, you'll be prompted to add your email address and select an output style: Then, hopefully within 5-10 minutes, you should receive an email from (make sure to check your spam

Tip #36: CINAHL Tertiary Headings

Did you know that in addition to main headings and subheadings, CINAHL also uses tertiary subheadings? You've probably seen them in the Major and Minor Subject fields, but (if you are like me) you likely didn't notice them. In the example below, "Michigan" is a tertiary subheading linked to the heading "Colleges and Universities." At first glance it appears to be a subheading like "Prevention and Control," but in this case, it's actually different! This example shows the "Michigan" tertiary subheading linked to a heading and subheading: From the EBSCO help documentation ,  "Tertiary headings are used to indicate an age group or geographics . These headings are added when the age group or geographic area is key to the topic under discussion. The tertiary headings can be linked directly to CINAHL subject headings or to the end of a subject heading/subheading combination."  For example, these are the Age Group tertiary s

Tip #35: Non-Latin Characters in PubMed

Back in January, I published "Tip #32: Non-Latin Characters in Ovid MEDLINE " which introduced my non-Latin/Roman characters investigation across databases. This week we will look at how PubMed handles the following examples: 17β-HSD (17 beta-HSD) cáncer (Spanish for cancer) سرطان (Arabic for cancer) diabético (Spanish/Italian/Portuguese for diabetic)   17β-HSD When you run the above search in PubMed, you can see that it automatically transliterates the β to "beta" from the search details. In this case, PubMed can handle Greek characters, so feel free to use them or the transliterated version in your search.      Some potential variations you may also want to consider - phrase with hyphens and/or double quotes, and spacing: 17beta-HSD - 833 (same as running "17beta HSD") 17betaHSD - 927 "17 beta HSD" - 281 17 beta HSD - 374 "17-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenases"[Mesh] - 2922 "17 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase" - 1516 17 beta-h

Tip #34: Increased .ris Exports in Scopus!

 Have you been frustrated with exporting large numbers of Scopus search results as .ris into batches of 2000? Well, I've got some good news for you! Scopus has recently launched a new version of the Search results page which allows for exporting of up to 20K full document records in the CSV, TXT, BIB and RIS formats online. To switch over to the new results page, simply run a search, then click on the "Try the New Version" button at the top of the page.  You'll see that not only has the results page changed its look, but when you select your records for exporting, the form now allows you to export up to 20,000 in RIS format ! Check out this Scopus blog post to learn more - "Improved Scopus Export is ready to test drive"

Tip #33: Catalog-only MeSH Terms

I was recently digging through some MeSH terms while trying to find a paper about statistics and prevalence in PubMed. I found the following MeSH term: "Statistics" [Publication Type] ...but when I tried to include it in my search string, my results were flagged with a "Quoted phrase not found in phrase index: Statistics" error message: Ryan Cohen, MLIS, Customer Service Librarian, Contractor for the National Library of Medicine, NIH responded to my confused Tweet with some very helpful information about this type of MeSH term. Thanks, Ryan! MeSH terms/publication types are used for both cataloging records in the NLM Catalog/LocatorPlus and for indexing the citations of articles in MEDLINE. There are some MeSH terms/publication types that are only used for cataloging and/or indexing. The statistics MeSH publication type term is only used for cataloging records in the NLM Catalog/LocatorPlus . See the annotation on the MeSH browser record: Statistics MeSH

Tip #32: Non-Latin Characters in Ovid MEDLINE

A recent search project on "17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase deficiency" inspired me to investigate how non-Latin characters are handled across various databases. This week we will look at how Ovid MEDLINE handles non-Latin and special characters using the following examples: 17β-HSD (17 beta-HSD) cáncer (Spanish for Cancer) سرطان (Arabic for Cancer) The help documentation wasn't in-depth enough for my needs so I reached out to Ruth Bernstein, a Tech Support team member at Wolters Kluwer, for further assistance. This post is based on our email exchange. Thanks, Ruth! If you attempt to run any of the above searches, you will get the following error message: 17β-HSD As indicated by the error message, special characters (such as β) are not searchable on Ovid . You will need to transliterate the Greek character and include it with the acronym spelled out, the full name of the substance, and the substance as a MeSH term.  17 beta 277 17-Hydroxysteroid Dehydr

Tip #31: Proximity searching is now available in PubMed!

  Guest post by Erika Lake, The National Library of Medicine is pleased to announce proximity search capabilities have been added to PubMed. This means you can now search for multiple terms appearing in any order within a specified distance of one another in the [Title] or [Title/Abstract] fields. You’ll find details on how to build a proximity search as well as examples in the new NLM Technical Bulletin article, PubMed Update: Proximity Search Now Available in PubMed . You can also check out the newly added “Proximity Searching” section of the PubMed User Guide here: Finally, NLM’s Office of Education and Training and NCBI have assembled a Quick Tour introducing users to the basics of Proximity Searching, which can be found via this direct link . This tour has also been added to the PubMed Trainer’s Toolkit . Have fun exploring, and email Erica Lake at to let her know what you think.

Tip #30: Resize the Ovid Query Box

Today's tip is from Rose Turner,, and her partner Tom Murphy VII . Rose writes,   I’m working on an Ovid SR and something that I’ve done is added a bookmark to my toolbar that resizes the Ovid query box. With the new interface the box is bigger, but it can still be annoying for me to resize to build or look at long strings. Example:   To add the bookmark: Right-click on your browser toolbar and select “Add Bookmark” (Firefox) or “Add page” (Chrome). Name the bookmark (ex, “Ovid Resize”) Add URL: javascript:document.getElementById('ovidclassic_focus').setAttribute('style', 'width:880px; height:200px'); You can customize the window size by changing the width and height numbers (mine are set to 880 by 200 px)   Now when you are working in Ovid you can just click your “Resize” bookmark to make the query box larger.     You can set it up to have as much space as you want.