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Occupational Therapy - Dallas

Occupational therapy research guide for TWU Dallas students, faculty and staff.


PubMed has 28+ million records in 30+ languages, encompassing the largest biomedical research and clinical health sciences, behavioral sciences, chemical and bioengineering database in any language,  34,000+ records added annually. Medline citations are included and updated daily.

When you access PubMed via a search engine you are only accessing the free component of PubMed (PubMed Central or PMC). When you access PubMed through TWU, you will access all its components which include Medline and PubMed. 

  • PMC = freely available records with full text.
  • Medline = subscription based, incorporates all of PMC's records, peer reviewed, fully cataloged records.
  • PubMed = subscription based, incorporates all of PMC's & Medline's records, and also includes ahead of print records / research / uncataloged records (grey literature). 

Pubmed (How to...)


To conduct a basic search, just use the search box provided on the Pubmed homepage.



To utilize features such as field searches click on the "Advanced" icon.

The advanced screen (seen below) allows the searcher to build a more tailored search via fields and boolean operators.

  1. All fields, means that the Pubmed will search for the specified search term throughout the entire record.
  2. The search term itself goes here.
  3. Select a boolean operator (AND/OR/NOT) to connect search terms on different lines.
  4. Add or remove lines

Searching a specific field rather than the whole document can be useful for many reasons: 

  • If you want to look up articles by one specific author then select the author field from the drop down menu and enter his/her name in the search box.
  • If you are getting far too many results that are mostly junk then try searching the title/abstract field for your search term, chances are if the author thought  enough of the term to include it in the title then this article might be much more pertinent to your needs.


Another cool feature of the advanced builder in Pubmed is that it will automatically keep a history of all your attempted searches and number them. So if you find after multiple attempts you got more hits from an earlier set of results, you can review your history, ascertain which search yielded the most results in the "items found" column (1) , and reuse that search by simply clicking on the "#x" in the search column (2).


To conduct a subject heading search (click here to learn more) select MeSH (Medical Encyclopedia of Subject Headings) from either of the two places seen below.


Type in your search term. Enter one search term in at a time. Please take a second to read the definitions provided. Often there are several choices to choose from and it is important to make sure you make the right selection. 

Below you can see that (1) synonyms will link to the database's term of choice (subject heading). Below you can see that heart attack brings back Myocardial Infarction. 

You can also see that in this case a slew of subheadings (2) are included that are attached to this term. Click and select any that you wish to be applied to your search. 

Click on the "add to search" icon (3) for every search term you need.


If you scroll down you will also see that some search terms feature in a hierarchy or terms or conditions. This can be a good place to look for alternate search terms or terms that are more specific to your needs.


When you have added all the search terms you have looked at individually and decided that you need, your search is fully built. Click on the "search Pubmed" icon. 

After you have run your search an initial time you will see a list of limiters on the left hand side of results.

The full range of options within any given filter are not always visible.  In the example below, the filter "article type" shows only clinical trial and review, but by clicking on the "customize" icon you can chose to display other types of article.

Having limiters on display is NOT the same as actually applying them to your search results! Once your filters are on full display you can click on them to chose to select or deselect what limiters you wish to apply.

Similarly, not all filters will be on display initially. You may chose to add more filters by scrolling down the limiter panel until you reach "show additional filters"

Only filters which are valid for your search results will appear. For example, if there are no clinical trials within your batch of results then the filter for clinical trials will not populate.


The similar articles link, located directly under each article in the search results list, is as simple as clicking on the link. Pubmed compares the title and the abstract of the article selected for keywords. It also looks at subject headings and uses this extracted data to find similar articles.


The Sort Menu (has two options)

  • Best match  = uses an algorithm to determine what the best results for your needs are and will display them in order. 
  • Most Recent = self explanatory

It is important to know that these are two different types of searches, and although there will be a large overlap of same results you may not get the same articles.


The search retirement and occupational therapy produces 65 results when the sort is set to most recent.


However, when the sort is set to best match there are 66 results.



If there is a specific article you want to try and find, but can't quite remember all the details of what it was then try Pubmed's Citation Matcher located on the splash page of Pubmed.

Once you have selected it, you will see a form (pictured below) to fill out with as many details as you can remember.


Pubmed will not directly send citations to Refworks. Instead it will create a file in your downloads folder which Refworks can then upload.


From Pubmed:

  1. Select the citation/s you want to send to Refworks.
  2. Click on Send to
  3. Click on Citations manager
  4. Click on create file



This creates a file (which by default will save to your computers downloads section). You now need to 'upload' the saved file to Refworks.

From Refworks

  1. Click on the "+" icon
  2. Click on "Import References"


  1. Click on "select a file from your computer" A pop up window will appear 
  2. Click on Downloads. Search your downloads folder for the relevant file
  3. Select the file and double click.