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Database Tips: MEDLINE (EBSCO) tips


MEDLINE Advanced Search

Stuck? Here are a few ideas to try. In MEDLINE w/ Full Text (EBSCO), make sure that you are on the Advanced Search Screen.

  • Check Full-Text to see articles immediately.
  • Enter dates in "Published Date From"
  • Use options such as human, gender, and age to limit
  • In the Journal & Citation Subset Box, you can choose "Nursing."

MEDLINE Advanced Search


Using MeSH (Medical Subject Headings)

MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) are useful if you're not quite sure where to start your search or have a very broad topic. For example, using the MeSH "Myocardial Infarction" will search for articles with both "myocardial infarction" and "heart attack." 

You'll notice that following screenshots say CINAHL - not MeSH. The process for searching for MeSh and CINAHL Headings in EBSCO is identical. If you learn one, you've got the other down too! 


STEP 1: Choose "MeSH" on the top menu and enter your search term (tylenol.)

Screenshot of MeSH tutorial 


STEP 2: Select Your Terms and Subheadings. Hit the big green "Search Database" button.

Things to note:

  • The search for "tylenol" redirected to the heading "Acetaminophen."
  • You can narrow further by choosing a subheading. In this case: "Adverse Effects"
  • If you don't understand a term, click the scope note (small yellow dialog boxes) to get a definition.
  • What does "Explode" mean?
    • MeSH will search for the headings listed under Acetaminophen (Broadens search)
  • What does "Major Concept" mean?
    • Checking that box, will restrict results to articles where subject heading is the main topic (Narrows Search)
  • If you can add more terms using "Browse Addition Terms." *This feature appears at the very bottom of the search results of subject headings. It can be annoying to find, but it is there.*

Screenshot MeSH Headings: Acetaminophen


STEP 3: View your Results

  • Notice that the search has been translated to (MH "Acetaminophen/AE.") The /AE is the adverse effects subheading.
  • View the article by selecting PDF or HTML Full-Text
  • Don't forget about the left-hand menu to narrow your results
  • It takes time to build searches. If you want to save your search, you can create a free account. 


STEP 4: View an Article

  • To view an article in the search results, click the title to get more detailed results.
  • On the left, look for full-text PDF and/or HTML options if they are available.
  • Look for Source: to see the journal or book that your articles is from.   
    • If you click the title of the journal, you can see where the journal is published!
  • Look for the Cite button to automatically generate a citation for your bibliography. Double check it for accuracy!
  • Look at Major Subjects: for ideas for key words. Click on a subject heading to a run a new search with that term.

Screenshot of Article Screen

Video Tutorials

MEDLINE w/ Full Text Searching

Full Text & Inter Library Loan (ILL)

For instant access:
When you search, check the full-text button Full Text with tick box checked 
or look for the articles with
PDF PDF logo and html full-text full text.

We subscribe to many different journals, but not everything! 

If you find something that you want and we don't have it, don't worry!

Fill out this inter library loan form.


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