MEDLINE from the National Library
of Medicine (NLM)
Other Interfaces to MEDLINE
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)
In-Process Citations in PubMed
Journals on the Web
Health Information on the Web
This page is based on an appendix from Katcher BS. MEDLINE:
a guide to effective searching in PubMed and other interfaces.
2nd ed. San Francisco: Ashbury Press; 2006.
Citations in PubMed
It takes some time for articles to be indexed for MEDLINE. High-profile
journals like JAMA or the New England Journal of
Medicine are indexed within days, but other journals take
weeks to months. As citations are received from publishers, before
they are indexed for MEDLINE, they are placed in PubMed
and are available from the default query box. These citations
are based on the electronic files received from the publisher
and are marked with one of two tags: "PubMed - as supplied
by publisher" (as they are added) or, more commonly, "PubMed
- in process" (accuracy of bibliographic data being reviewed
and MeSH vocabulary being assigned, if the article is within the
scope of MEDLINE).
If you search by author, journal, or unqualified words, these
in-process citations will appear at the top of your search results.
Further down you will see citations whose Medical Subject Headings
(MeSH), Publication Types, Substance Names, and other indexing
elements have been added. These are tagged as "PubMed - indexed
While it is generally preferable to use all of the indexing features
that are built into MEDLINE, you may wish to augment your searches
with in-process citations.
There are several ways to keep track of in-process citations.
If you are interested in a particular journal, you can see its
articles as they are added to PubMed. Just enter the full name
or its official abbreviation (for help see the Journals
Database). If you subscribe to a journal, you may be able
to have the table of contents e-mailed to you upon publication.
Most journals publish the table of contents of the most recent
issue on their Web site (see Journals
on the Web). You can also store a pre-constructed search strategy
NCBI" (a PubMed service) and have the results sent to
you by e-mail.
A useful means for keeping track of citations in PubMed, regardless
of their processing status, is the PubMed Unique Identifier (PMID).
Searching on this number, without any qualifications, will take
you directly to the citation. The book Citing
Medicine: the NLM Style Guide for Authors, Editors, and Publishers,
which is freely available on the NCBI Bookshelf, recommends
including this number as part of each reference citation.