MEDLINE Database


Medline is perhaps the most popularly used database by Medical professionals and students. Every Doctor or Medical student who regularly uses the Internet would have certainly stumbled on any of the MEDLINE utilities available on the Internet. A practicing doctor would find MEDLINE unavoidable for his day-to-day practice and a Medical Student would find the database immensely useful in advancing knowledge.


MEDLINE [MEDlars onLINE] is a bibliographic database maintained by the National library of Medicine [NLM] and covers the fields of Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Veterinary Medicine and Health research.

MEDLINE Indexes over 3K biomedical journals and the database is updated weekly and includes about 400,000 papers every month. Over 85% of the journals are in English Language. Non English Language papers are indexed with an abstract in English.

MEDLINE indexes Journals from 1966 to current, and the enormous database hosts about 9 Million records.


Different versions of the MEDLINE Database are available. They Include CD ROM versions and Internet versions. Apart from the NIH website PubMed, many other online versions of MEDLINE are available in different flavours.

Medscape, Healthgate, Community of Science, Kfinder, Infotrieve, WebSPIRS, OVID, , Paperchase and BioMedNet are just some of them.



Apart from Indexing Journal abstracts, PubMed also provides a link to the Full Text article if available Online. The Full Text version may be free as in open access Journals or may be restricted to subscribers. In addition, it also links to PubMedCentral, a free online archive of full text Biomedical journals, and the Bookshelf, another utility of NIH, which publishes entire books online.

Every indexed abstract is provided with a unique PubMed ID [PMID], an eight digit code which enables one to link directly to an abstract in PubMed.


Pubmed allows complex searching incorporating AND OR and NOT strings.

Eg: If you need to search for an article on tuberculosis and Rifampicin, you could use the string tuberculosis AND rifampicin, and if you need to see articles excluding meningitis, you could modify it as tuberculosis AND rifampicin NOT meningitis.

Pubmed insists that you always optimize your search queries using the MeSH