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NURS3135 Nursing Research: MEDLINE

How to Access MEDLINE (Ovid)


From the A-Z Databases list on the Library homepage, select MEDLINE via OvidSP.

Ovid Term Finder

Mapping (Map Term to Subject Heading) in Advanced Mode

Advanced Search in MEDLINE (Ovid)


MEDLINE covers the international literature on biomedicine, including the allied health fields and the biological and physical sciences, humanities, and information science as they relate to medicine and health care. Information is indexed from approximately 5,600 journals published world-wide. Records start in the 1946 and go all the way to present with daily updates.

Searching MEDLINE

View steps to search MEDLINE by clicking on the links below.

Advanced Search 

The Advanced Search screen offers more ways to search by abstract, titles, keywords ,etc. and offers Subject Heading mapping.

Search with keywords

Step 1. Type your search term in the text box. You can indicate the search field to search for your search term(s). Here are some of the main options:

Type .tw. or .ab,ti. after your search term(s) e.g. gynecological or gynecological cancer.ab,ti.  This will search for references where your words appear in the title (TI) or the abstract (AB). 

Type .ti. after your search term(s) e.g. gynecological cancer.ti. This will search for references where your words appear in the title (TI) only. 

Type .ab. after your search term(s) e.g. gynecological cancer.ab. This will search for references where your words appear in the abstract (AB) only. 

Step 2. 

  • The box Map Term to Subject Heading is checked by default. Your search term will be mapped to the Subject Heading if you do not specify a particular search field to search (as in Step 1).
  • If you uncheck the box Map Term to Subject Heading and do not specify a particular search field to search, the default search setting would be ‘multi-purpose’ (.mp.) field, which looks in the Title, Original Title, Abstract, Subject Heading, Name of Substance, and Registry Word fields.


Search with Medical Subject Headings 

If Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) can be mapped for your search term, a list of Subject Headings is shown.

Step 3. Select the relevant MeSH to search.

Step 4. Check Explode if you want to include the selected MeSH term and all of its more specific terms (narrower MeSH) in the search.

Step 5. Check Focus if you want to limit your search to those articles in which the MeSH is considered as the major point of the article.

Step 6. If more than one MeSH is selected, choose AND / OR for your Boolean operator and press Continue

Step 7. Select Subheadings of the MeSH if you want to focus on specific aspects of the MeSH heading that are pertinent to the article. If not, press Continue to add the MeSH to your search.

Combine & Limit Searches

Step 8. Check the boxes to combine search strategies.

Step 9. Combine the selected searches using AND / OR Boolean operators.

You can limit or filter your search results in various ways. These may include:

  • language
  • type of publication (case study, clinical trials, review articles, systematic review, meta-analysis)
  • sex
  • human or animal
  • age groups
  • date published
  • peer-reviewed

Step 10. You can directly limit your search results by selecting at the box and press Search

Step 11. Press the Additional Limits button for more limiting options such as by Age Groups or Publication Types.

View Full Text & Export Search Results to EndNote and Covidence

Step 1. Click the abstract view icon to include the abstract of the article at the search results. 

Step 2. Full text may be available as PDF for some article records.

Step 3. For those records without full text provided, press the Findit@CUHK Library button or cick the Full Text link to search for full text.

Step 4. To export search results, you may select individual record by checking the checkbox next to each search result or check All to export all results. If no selection is made, all records on that search page will be exported.

Press the Export icon for more options on the search records, for example,

  • Select RIS to export selected records to citation management tools such as EndNote or to the systematic review management tool, Covidence.
  • Select Excel to export selected record in excel file.

Press Email to send the following items to email inbox:

  • selected records with the direct link of each record to the database
  • search history with the no. of search results, and
  • direct link to execute the search in Ovid.

Save & Share Search History & Run Saved Search

To share the search history, select Share Search History at the bottom of the Search History. There are three options to choose from: Email All Search History, Copy Search History Link, or Copy Search History Details.

Step 1. To save your search, select Save All button underneath your search history. You will be prompted to login/register an account with Ovid.  

Step 2. Give your search a name. You can also use the comment field for adding any extra notes about the search. The default setting of your search is Permanent (which means it is saved permanently). You can choose to make your search Temporary (i.e. save for 168 hours). You can also set up auto alert for your search by selecting the AutoAlert (SDI) option. Then it will prompt you to choose how frequently you wish to receive the results alert, and the delivery options (Email, RSS or in My Projects). 

Click the Save button to save the setting.

To run your saved search, select View Saved button, at the top right hand corner of the page.

Step 1. select the saved search you want to run.

Step 2. select Run