Available Until 1/9/2026

How PubMed Works*

For more information or to schedule these courses, please contact the NNLM Training Office at nto@utah.edu

This series of four classes will cover a breadth of topics to introduce and enhance your abilities in using PubMed. Whether you're a new user or are looking for a refresher, each class will provide you with behind-the-scenes information to assist you in successfully using PubMed.

Course URL: https://nnlm.gov/training/class-catalog/how-pubmed-works

Learning Objectives: 

Each session has its own learning outcomes.

How PubMed Works: Introduction

  • Understand what PubMed is and what's in it.
  • Find the original research that is the basis for a news article.
  • Find articles by a specific author.
  • Search for articles on a specific subject.
  • Narrow search results to a more specific subset
  • Explore Advanced Search Builder and Search History.

How PubMed Works: Selection

  • Describe some issues and concerns surrounding the current publishing landscape.
  • Articulate NLM responsibilities and practices in collecting and providing access to the biomedical literature.
  • Explain what is referenced in the PubMed database.
  • Describe the selection criteria for the different components of the PubMed database.
  • Find additional resources for authors and librarians on assessing publication quality.

How PubMed Works: MeSH (Medical Subject Headings)

  • Explore the MeSH Database
  • Describe a Controlled Vocabulary
  • Explore the four types of MeSH Terms
  • Locate and explain entry terms, date introduced, previous indexing, automatic explosion

How PubMed Works: ATM (Automatic Term Mapping)

  • Describe the contents of the 3 Translation Tables. 
  • Explain the order of ATM 
  • Analyze Search Details to verify term mapping.
  • Locate PubMed's list of indexed phrases
  • Describe 3 Ways to bypass ATM


Each class is 90 minutes long.



Time for questions


MLA CE Credit: 1.5 for each course