Information about PubMed searches

The PubMed search pane in Publish or Perish allows you to perform a PubMed advanced search and analyse its results; it contains a structured version of the parameters accepted by PubMed. Publish or Perish uses these parameters to perform a PubMed search, which is then analyzed and converted to a number of statistics. The results are available on-screen and can also be copied to the Windows clipboard (for pasting in other applications) or saved to a text file (for future reference or further analysis).

Note: Publish or Perish uses the PubMed advanced search to allow users to search for authors, journals, ISSNs, affiliations, title words, and keywords, as well as use year limitations. This mirrors the options available in the other data sources. The results of this search will be different from the results of the general PubMed search box on the website. This searches in all (40) available PubMed fields and thus provides very broad results that need to be filtered manually.

How to perform a PubMed search

To perform a PubMed search:

  1. Enter the relevant parameters in the various fields (see below for an explanation of each parameter);
  2. Click Search or press the Enter key.

The program will now contact PubMed to obtain the citations, process the list, and calculate the citation metrics, which are then displayed in the results list. The full list of results is also available for inspection or modifications and can be exported in a variety of formats.


This pane contains the following fields.

Option Description

Enter the names of the authors you want to look up. For PubMed searches (only), you should enter the author names as Lastname Initial.

For general tips on search syntax, see Author search.


Enter the range of years in which the papers must have been published. You can set either year to 0 (zero) to indicate "don't care".


Enter the affiliations that you want to search for. For tips on search syntax, see Affiliation search.

Publication name

Enter the name of the publication or journal you want to look up. For tips on search syntax, see Journal search.


Enter the ISSNs of the journals you want to look up. The ISSNs must use the format dddd-dddd, i.e., 4 digits, a hyphen, and another 4 digits.

Title words

Enter words from the title of the article that you want to look up. For tips on search syntax, see General/keyword search.


Enter any additional words that must appear alone or in combination in the title, abstract, or other key fields of the returned papers. It is equivalent to the PubMed [Text Words] field. This can be used to narrow down the search for a specific set of papers. For tips on search syntax, see General/keyword search.


Perform the search. If possible, the search is satisfied from the local Publish or Perish cache; this saves time and reduces the load on PubMed. If no cache entry for the search exists or the entry is older than the maximum cache age, then the search is forwarded to PubMed. After the results are received from PubMed, the local cache is automatically refreshed.

Search Direct

Submit the search directly to PubMed, bypassing the local Publish or Perish cache. This may be useful if you suspect that PubMed may have newer information than is available through the local cache. When the results are returned from PubMed, the local cache is automatically refreshed.

Note: It is not useful to perform multiple direct lookups for the same search shortly after another; this merely increases the load on PubMed. We recommend that you only use the Lookup Direct function as a last resort.

Clear All Clears all search fields. You can use this to quickly prepare the fields for an entirely new search.
Revert Restores the search fields to their previous state. This function is only available as long as you have not performed a search with the current search fields.
New Creates a new search using the same initial search parameters as the current one. You can use this, for example, to create multiple related searches: either the same search parameters submitted to different data sources, or variations of the parameters to the same data source.