PubMed Replacing Ovid for Medline Access

As of November 1, 2009, the BUMC Alumni Medical Library will no longer subscribe to Ovid for accessing Medline and a collection of Evidence-based Medicine databases. Ovid is an expensive resource, and during difficult financial times we have made the decision that it is more important to retain e-journal subscriptions than to provide access to two versions of the same database.

Our decision was made after the following considerations:

  1. Access to the Medline database will continue via the National Library of Medicine's (NLM) free-of-charge PubMed.
  2. The NLM produces the Medline database, and PubMed provides the most updated access to journal article citations and abstracts, and links to licensed full-text articles.
  3. Most students/residents will not have access to Ovid in the future, while PubMed will always be available free-of-charge on the Web. In this sense, Library Education providing advanced Medline skills instruction using PubMed is more effective towards teaching lifelong information skills.
  4. Library technology has improved with the introduction of SFX at BU, and the more recent integration with PubMed. Prior to this, Ovid had provided access to all of our Library licensed journals while PubMed had been providing access to approximately 65% of the Library's full-text licensed journals due to technical issues; this is no longer the case.
  5. The single platform for Medline and EBM databases is no longer essential since EBM databases are easily located on the Medical Library's website due to the development and integration of resources on Library Subject A - Z pages:

  6. Finally, there have always been disadvantages to subscribing to the Ovid EBM databases due to limited concurrent user licensing restrictions, which resulted in 'licenses exceeded' messages to users. We will retain access to all of the EBM databases previously delivered on Ovid, but via different vendors with the advantage of unlimited concurrent users as follows (links also available from above Subject Guides or via the E-Resources 'Databases' link at

An NLM update to PubMed is imminent, and once completed BUMC librarians will either link to NLM-developed online tutorials or we will develop our own instructional modules. BUMC librarians will offer PubMed workshops or individual by-appointment instructional sessions upon request during this transition period.

** Important note for Ovid users currently using the 'Saved Searches/Alerts' function: Ovid saved searches will not be accessible after December 30. This function is available in PubMed, but you will need to manually replicate these searches.

Please contact the BUMC Library's Reference Desk at (617) 638-4228 or for assistance, questions about PubMed or to provide feedback.