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Comparing PubMed to MEDLINE and BIOSOS Previews


How do you know which database to use? This chart compares PubMed to two other databases that are useful to biomedical engineers: MEDLINE and BIOSOS Previews. To open one of these databases in a new window, click on the name of the platform that hosts it (i.e. to access PubMed click on Entrez).




BIOSIS Previews


1950 - present

1950 - present

1980 - present


Updated weekly

Updated monthly

Updated weekly


Entrez (NLM¹)



Distinctive Features

Access to information and results from clinical trials, and other special studies, acts as expanded version of MEDLINE

Uses MeSH²  as well as vernacular terms

Uses MeSH² with some conversion of vernacular terms

Specialized indexing for more relevant results

Searches all life sciences fields including interdisciplinary field and related fields

Extensive analysis options

Fully integrated Endnote Web use

Included databases

MEDLINE plus more content such as: PreMEDLINE, PubMedCentral³, OLDMEDLINE, and NIH funded authors.

MEDLINE, AIDSLINE, BIOETHICSLINE, and HealthSTAR (Health Services Technology, Administration, and Research)

Biological Abstracts and Biological Abstracts/RRM

Full text

Some free full text, plus more full text via Find it @UT

Indexing only, Some full text via Find it @UT

Indexing only, some full text via Find it @ UT

(In order to make the service visible in your search results, you will need to create a free personal account at My NCBI*)


My NCBI*: save searches, save collection, save bibliography, saves recent activity

Can be used with EBSCO or ISI platforms which allow personalization of features and saving of searches and citations

Save searches and RSS feeds through ISI platform

Types of materials

U.S. and foreign journal abstracts and some articles

U.S. and foreign journal abstracts

Journal abstracts, reports, reviews and meeting and conference proceedings

Number of Journals




Compiling Body

U.S. National Library of Medicine

U.S. National Library of Medicine

Thomson Scientific

¹US National Library of Medicine
²Medical Subject Headings, very specific vocabulary
³Free digital archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH)

*Create a free personal account at My NCBI on PubMed’s Web site. Once you login, you will be on the My NCBI home page. From the left hand menu bar, select "Preferences". Under "PubMed Preferences", select "Outside Tool" and find "University of Texas Libraries: Find it@UT" and save this selection. You will now see the Find it@UT button in your search results within PubMed, but only after you have selected an abstract to view. Direct access to PubMed  does not require a UT EID.