Search Tips

Creating custom keyword searches with just the right number of results per email is an important element of your experience with our service. Specifically, keywords that are too general in nature will result in far too many results to review while keywords that are too specific will result in too few emails. For example, searches performed with just the keyword "cancer" would swamp you with roughly 2000 hits per week. Medumail allows you to test your keyword search strategies before saving them. We highly recommend that you take the time to use this important feature so that you will get the most out of our service.

The following are a list of guidelines and tips that will help you to craft your queries. Keep in mind, if you'd like more personalized service, feel free to send an email to queryhelp@medumail.com and a representative will be glad to provide advice.

Creating simple searches

To create a standard search, simply enter your term into the keyword field under your account settings.

Multiword searches (using Boolean operators)

The words AND, OR, and NOT are common operators that allow for flexibility in creating multi-word search strings that can enhance the specificity of your searches.

Limiting searches to specific fields

Searches can be limited by a number of fields including author affiliation, author name, journal titles, etc. This is accomplished through the use of field tags after the terms of interest.

Affiliation [AD]

May include the institutional affiliation and address (including e-mail address) of the first author of the article as it appears in the journal. This field can be used to search for work done at specific institutions.

Author [AU]

The format to search for this field is: last name followed by a space and up to the first two initials followed by a space and a suffix abbreviation, if applicable, all without periods or a comma after the last name (e.g., fauci as or o'brien jc jr). Initials and suffixes may be omitted when searching.

Document Type [PTYP]

Searches can be limited to the type of document desired. There are seven types of documents available for searching; Clinical Trials, Editorials, Letters, Meta-Analyses, Practice Guidelines, Randomized Controlled Trials, and Reviews.

Journal Title [TA]

The journal title abbreviation or full journal title can be used. A database of all journals available for searching can be found on the PubMed web site.

Title [TI]

Searches can be limited to words and numbers included in the title of an article as opposed to the abstract.