Frequently asked questions 1 – What is the difference between MEDLINE and PubMed?


  • What is the difference between MEDLINE and PubMed?

There is a fact sheet of NLM (National Library of Medicine, USA) called MEDLINE, PubMed, and PMC (PubMed Central): How are they different?  that explains the difference in detail.


MEDLINE is the National Library of Medicine (NLM) journal citation database.

MEDLINE database is searchable from NLM as a subset of the PubMed database but also other search services that license the data.

PubMed includes MEDLINE plus the following types of citations:

  • in-process citations (records for articles before quality control and indexing)
  • citations to articles that are out-of-scope ahead of print citations (preceding article’s final publication)
  • pre-1966 citations that have not yet been updated with current MeSH (Medical Subject Headings)
  • citations to some additional life sciences journals that submit full text to PubMed Central and receive a qualitative review by NLM
  • citations to manuscripts of articles published by NIH-funded researchers
  • citations for the majority of books available on the NCBI Bookshelf

If you want to search only MEDLINE in PubMed, use the Journal Categories filter MEDLINE.


By: Tuulevi Ovaska, Head of Services, Kuopio University Hospital Medical Library, University of Eastern Finland Library