PubMed: My NCBI changes

Two recent changes to My NCBI in PubMed:

  1. Share Collections
  2. Customize search filters

These are terrific new developments for your My NCBI account. What’s it mean for you?

Share Collections

Have you ever wanted to share PubMed citations with a group of people? Say you’re all working together on the same project and you’ve been charged with doing the literature search. You’ve got all these great citations but….what? How do you get them to everyone in your group?

  • Save the citations as a Collection in your My NCBI account
  • Mark the Collection “public”
  • Copy the resulting URL
  • Email the URL to all the members of your group
  • Everyone now has access to the citations in the Collection!

Your collection is not static. If you add additional citations, anyone using your link will see the new additions, too. If you delete citations from the Collection, link users will see the edited list.

Customized Search Filters

When you search PubMed, the default search filters for the results are “All” and “Review.” Through your My NCBI account, you can set additional useful filters.

  • Want to see only articles in English? Set a filter for that.
  • Want to see only articles published in the last 5 years? Set a filter for that.
  • Want to see only articles that are clinical trials? Set a filter for that.

But, what if the filter you want isn’t available?

Maybe it would be really helpful to you if you could just see the articles from a few select journals.  Or maybe you want articles that are clinical trials AND in english? Prior to these changes in My NCBI, you couldn’t set search filters for those. Now you can. Here’s how:

  • Access your My NCBI account
  • Click on the Search Filters link on the left hand side of the page
  • Choose your database (here, we’re talking about PubMed)
  • Click on the tab toward the top of the page that says “Custom Filters” and follow the “create a new one” link
  • Now, enter your search strategy. Every search filter is a search strategy – that’s how they work
  • Name your filter
  • Save your filter

It’s that easy.

So, for example, a search filter that would filter (group together) items in your result set that are reports of the results of clinical trials  (publication type) and published in English would have a search that looks like this:

clinical trial [pt] AND eng[la]

This filter was named “Clinical Trial and English”

In the search results, you would see the following:


A filter that would group together items in your result set that are only from JAMA or NEJM or Lancet would look like this:

jama[ta] OR n engl j med [ta] OR lancet [ta]

This filter was named “My Journals”

Here’s what you’d see in the search results when this customized filter is activated:


Unsure how to structure your search? Ask a librarian.

Read more about the changes in the NLM Technical Bulletin article Share your PubMed collection and customize filters with My NCBI. The article contains the step-by-step instructions necessary to use these innovations


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