Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Medical Database Guides: MEDLINE

How to Access MEDLINE (Ovid)

Medical Subject Heading Search in MEDLINE (Ovid)

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.


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

Advanced Search

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

1. Type your search term in the text box. You can choose Keyword, Title or Author to search.

2. If you don't need to map your search term for Subject Heading, press Search.

3. To map for Medical Subject Heading, check the checkbox and then press Search.

Medical Subject Headings Mapping

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

4. Select the Subject Heading(s) to search.

5. Check Explode if you want to include the selected term and all of its more specific terms in the searching.

6. Check Focus if you want to limit your search to those articles in which the subject heading is considered as the major point of the article.

7. If more than one Subject Heading is selected, choose AND, OR for your Boolean operator and press Continue. 

8. Select Subheadings of the Subject Heading to search for or check the box to include all Subheadings and press Continue.


Combine & Limit Searches

9. Check the boxes to combine search strategies.

10. Combine the selected searches using AND, OR Boolean operators.

11. Limit your search results by year, publication type or language and press Search. Press the Additional Limits button for more limiting options.

View & Output Results

12. Click Abstract to view the abstract of the article

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

14. For those records without full text provided, press the Findit@CUHK Library button or,

15. Click the Full Text link to search for full text.

16. Check the All box to select all records or select individual records.

17. Press the icons to email, save to folder or export records to citation management tools, e.g. RefWorks.