Skip to content
 
  • Site Map
  • Types of reviews
  • Suggestion Box

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.

All 3:

  • 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.

Advantages and pitfalls of Medline (Ovid)

Advantages and pitfalls of PubMed

Advantages and pitfalls of Scopus

Edit page