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PubMed Research Guide: PubMed vs. Medline: how do they differ?

This guide will help you learn how to use PubMed.

Medline and PubMed: What are the Differences?

PubMed and Ovid/ProQuest MEDLINE all let you access MEDLINE, the U.S. National Library of Medicine's biomedicine bibliographic database. There are several differences between the options but the most prominent is the search interface. 

When to use PubMed: you are not affiliated with a university or do not have off-campus access privileges; you want to explore the MeSH database as a standalone.

When to use Ovid/ProQuest MEDLINE: you frequently use other Ovid or ProQuest databases and prefer their search interface.

Otherwise, the choice is yours.

As an Barry Library user you have access to MEDLINE via Ovid and ProQuest, both of which require you to use off-campus access if you are not currently at the Barry Campus. You can acccess PubMed from any location without logging in, but always go through PubMed via Barry-  to see which articles you can obtain through the Barry University Library.


(Ovid or ProQuest)



National Library of Medicine (NLM), user interface provided by Ovid Technologies or ProQuest.

National Library of Medicine (NLM), user interface provided by National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).


Restricted by license to Barry Library users.

Free to all.


1940s - present, choose from several time blocks.
Separate MEDLINE In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations file.

1940s - present.
MEDLINE In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations automatically included in search.

Full-Text Availability

Direct links to full-text articles in over 200 journals via Ovid or ProQuest in addition to providing links to other Barry e-journal collections.

Links to Barry full text options only when connected through  link or when use the Barry filters via My NCBI. Items are also available via Barry e-journal collections.

Document Delivery Services

No, use Barry's ILLiad Interlibrary Loan service.

Yes, through Loansome Doc (registration required). Barry users should use the ILLiad Interlibrary Loan service.

Saving Searches

Yes, through "Save Search History," queries may be saved temporarily (720 hours), permanently (indefinitely), or in the form of an "auto alert" (SDI). (Must create a personal account in Ovid or ProQuest.)

Yes, the "My NCBI" feature will save queries and provide search updates/email alerts. (Must register for "My NCBI.")

Boolean Searching


Supported, but Boolean operators must be included in all capital letters.


Supported, use $ or * as a wildcard. Wildcard usage will not map to a MeSH term.

Supported, use * as a wildcard. Wildcard usage will not map to a MeSH term.