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Ovid Database Guide: MEDLINE

Access Database

Coverage: 1946 to present

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. 

MEDLINE® is produced by the National Library of Medicine.

Ovid MEDLINE Handout

Search Tips

Search Tips

  • Search each Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) term separately, and then combine them using Boolean operators (AND, OR, or NOT).
  • To conduct a text-word search, use the search term plus “.tw”. The Text Word (TW) index is an alias for all of the fields in a database that contain text words, including the Title (TI) and Abstract (AB).

Advanced Searching

  • Use the pound or hashtag sign (#) to truncate. For example, searching for "wom#n" retrieves results that contain both "woman" and "women". You can use multiple wild cards in a single query word.
  • Use the dollar sign ($) followed by the maximum number of characters that may follow the root word or phrase to perform a limited truncation search. For example, searching for "dog$1" retrieves results with the words "dog" and "dogs", but it does not retrieve results with the word "dogma".
  • Use the optional wild card character – the question mark (?) – either within or at the end of a search term to substitute for one or no characters. For example, searching for "colo?r" retrieves results that contain the words "color" or "colour".


Searches may be limited to Core Clinical Journals, which will only retrieve search results from the 119 core clinical journals that comprise the Abridged Index Medicus collection. This is a good way to limit your retrieval to journals more commonly found in hospital and medical library collections.