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Choosing a Medline Search Engine: Ovid vs. PubMed

(These comments pertain to UTHCT’s Ovid system and PubMed. Every point may not apply to systems at other sites.)

Ovid logo

Advantages:

  • Allows easy limitation to Local Holdings or Full Text.
  • Other limits (i.e. language, human, etc.) are easily accessible on main search page.
  • Provides possible MeSH (National Library of Medicine Medical Subject Headings) terms when searched terms are not MeSH terms.
  • Local Messages indicate if the Library has the journal that an article is located in.
  • Local Messages include hypertext links to the Library’s electronic journal list.
  • Search strategies may be easily transferred to Ovid CINAHL.

 

Disadvantages:

  • Database updates are behind PubMed.
  • Available only to authorized UTHCT users.

 

PubMed logo

Advantages:

  • Rapid database updates.
  • Related Articles feature.
  • LinkOut provides linking to available full-text of articles and to print holdings information (UTHCT users only).
  • Links to free full-text when available.
  • Links to genetics and biomolecular databases.
  • Includes MeSH Database function for identifying NLM Medical Subject Headings.
  • Search can be limited to subsets such as Core Clinical Journals, Nursing Journals, Cancer Journals, AIDS, and others.
  • Available to the general public via any ISP (internet service provider).  (Does not include LinkOut links to subscribed journals.)

 

Disadvantages:

  • Proprietary links to journals are confusing if no subscription is held.
  • Full-text limitation available but not straightforward.
  • No on-screen instructions for Boolean search syntax.
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