What's the difference between PubMed, Medline and Scopus?
Medline is a bibliographic database produced by the [United States] National Library of Medicine. PubMed (Public Medline) is the free interface to Medline. Ovid is a company that hosts Medline content ie, it is a commercial version of Medline which the University pays for. Scopus is the name of another commercial database that hosts Medline content.
- The search interfaces are slightly different.
- The ‘behind the scenes' processing has differences.
- PubMed and Medline (Ovid) content is a subset of Scopus. PubMed indexes around 6000 journals, Scopus indexes around an additional 17,000 (total around 24,000) journals including most, but not all, of the content of the Embase database.
- PubMed content should be in the version of Medline (Ovid) the University subscribes to ie Ovid MEDLINE(R) Epub Ahead of Print, In Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations, Ovid MEDLINE (R) Daily, and Ovid MEDLINE (R) 1946-Present.
- PubMed, Medline (Ovid) and Scopus include very recent articles placed online ahead of being published. PubMed and Medline (Ovid) include preprints on Covid-19 from medrxiv and biorxiv.
- However, PubMed has the most recent articles compared to Medline (Ovid) and Scopus so you may want to do a very quick PubMed search and look at the first few results (as they are displayed in publication order) as well as doing a Scopus or Medline (Ovid) search.
- Work with reference management software.
- In all 3 you can set up a free account and save your search.
- Have 'cited by' links but those links in Scopus are the best and most comprehensive of the 3 databases.
If you are interested, read:
- official explanation of the difference between Medline and PubMed.
- Note that most of the content of Medline (Ovid) is included in Embase.