Skip to main content

User guide for QuickPubMed

QuickPubMed provides easy access to perform complex searches in the PubMed database and includes both a simple and an advanced search function.


    Here you can read more about the search function QuickPubMed and how to use it to easily find diabetes-relevant health science literature.

    Search QuickPubMed

    How to use QuickPubMed

    1. Go to
    2. Select a relevant topic by adding it to the drop-down menu:
    3. If necessary, combine multiple topics by:

      Adding items in the same drop-down menu:

      A combination of multiple topics in the same drop-down menu will find records that contain at least one of these topics. E.g. type 2 diabetes OR type 1 diabetes.


      Adding items to new drop-down menus:

      A combination of items in multiple drop-down menus will find records that contain at least one item from each drop-down menu. E.g. type 2 diabetes AND carbohydrates.

    4. If necessary, select one or more limits:
    5. Click on the 'Search' button.

    Click on the 'Advanced search' tab and follow the same steps as for 'Simple search'.

    The differences from simple search are that in advanced search you can:

    • Add your own keywords to the drop-down menus
      You can enter your own keywords (in English) if you have not found a relevant topic in the drop-down menu. It may be a good idea to add * at the end of the keyword so that you also capture alternative word endings, e.g. 'diabet*' will capture 'diabetes', 'diabetic' and 'diabetics'.
    • Choose between searches with different scopes:
      • Narrow: Search with high specificity, i.e. the vast majority of records in the search result are relevant, but at the same time you must expect that some relevant records will not be found.
      • Standard: Search with a good balance between specificity and sensitivity, i.e. the search result contains many relevant records but also a few irrelevant ones.
      • Broad: Search with high sensitivity, i.e. that there are several relevant, but also some irrelevant, records.
    • Add more limits

    QuickPubMed includes many features, some of which appear in the search form itself, while others become available when you click on a link or when a search result is displayed.

    In the search form

    Once you have selected a topic, you can access a number of features by clicking the 'Details' link:

    • Your search
      Displays a readable version of your search. This means that the combination of the choices you have made in the search form is described in "natural language".
    • Show search string
      Displays your search as it would look if you were to perform the same search directly in PubMed with a so-called search string. By clicking the box once, you copy the search string.
    • Run search in PubMed
      Submits your search to PubMed so you can see your search results there.
    • Create alert in PubMed
      Receive an email when the search you have build in the search form returns new results. NOTE! Only works if you are already logged in to PubMed in the same browser when you click on the link. If you do not already have an account, create an NCBI account.
    • Reset
      Removes all the choices you made in the form. All default selections under 'Limits' are set as when you started.
    • Copy link
      The link to the search currently displayed on the search form is copied. Can be used to save under 'Favorites' in your browser or to share a specific search with others.

    Below each reference in the search result

    When a search result is displayed, you will also find a number of features under each reference:

    • Show abstract
      The abstract (summary) of the article to which the record refers is displayed. If there is no abstract, the text 'No abstract' is displayed.
    • Open in PubMed
      The reference is displayed in PubMed. PubMed opens in a new tab, so you can easily return to the tab with your current search in QuickPubMed.
    • Open journal
      The article is displayed on the journal's website. There you can read more about the article, and find out if you can read it for free or buy access to the entire article.
    • Altmetric
      Displays a score that reflects how often that article has been featured in various media such as social media, news media, and guidelines. The different colors indicate which media have covered the article. Read more about Altmetric.
    • Dimensions
      Indicates how many times the article has been cited in other scientific articles. Read more about Dimensions.

    When you click on the 'Show abstract' button, you will find additional feature under the abstract:

    • Similar articles in PubMed
      Displays a list of PubMed records that are similar to the one you have clicked. The list is based on PubMed's search algorithms for similarity. Therefore, they are not necessarily about diabetes.
    • Similar systematic reviews in PubMed
      Corresponds to the 'Similar articles in PubMed' feature above, with the difference that this list is limited to records categorized as systematic reviews.
    • Articles frequently viewed together with this in PubMed
      Displays a list in PubMed of records that others have also clicked on while clicking on that record in PubMed.
    • Download PDF of full text article (if available)
      Go directly to the PDF version of the article, if available. Some articles are available for free in PDF format, while you have to pay to access others. If the article is not available for free, you will simply be forwarded to the journal's website when you click on this link. If you find that nothing happened when you click on the link, copy the link and paste it into a new tab.
    • Search for this article on Google Scholar
      Searches for the reference to the current article in Google Scholar, where you can make use of various features such as seeing who cited the article, finding different versions of it and related articles.

    About QuickPubMed

    QuickPubMed is a search feature developed by the Danish Diabetes Knowledge Center, which makes it easy to search the world's largest database of health science literature, PubMed.

    Read more about PubMed

    You can choose from a variety of topics relevant to diabetes. The topics can be combined so that you can focus your search on what you are interested in.

    We have put together the combinations of keywords behind each topic. Using QuickPubMed therefore requires no prior knowledge of database searching.

    To benefit from using QuickPubMed, you must be able to read, understand and interpret the scientific literature, which is most often written in English. Therefore, the search feature is particularly suitable for people who have e.g. a health science or health professional background and has experience of reading scientific literature.

    NOTE! If you plan to do a literature search for e.g. a systematic review, using QuickPubMed will not be enough. Instead, consider getting help from an information specialist.

    Behind every topic or limit that can be selected in the search form is a so-called search string. A search string is the combination of keywords and "tags" that you use to find a specific record in PubMed.

    We have put together the search strings so that they can work individually or combined with AND or OR. That way, you can put together a longer search string that matches what you want to search for.

    The combined search strings are sent to the PubMed database and the result is displayed below the search form.

    Read more about principles for and overview of the search strings used in QuickPubMed

    We are constantly developing and adjusting QuickPubMed. If you think a topic or feature in missing, we would like to hear from you at

    Unfortunately, we can not promise that all requests for adjustments and new features for QuickPubMed will be met.

    Last updated: 6. October 2022