Update: As reported previously, the PubMed Health website will shut down on October 31, 2018. This decision was made so the National Library of Medicine (NLM) can consolidate its consumer health and comparative effectiveness resources to make them easier to find.
In an effort to consolidate similar resources and make information easier to find, the National Library of Medicine will be retiring its PubMed Health website, effective October 31, 2018, and providing the same or similar content through more widely used NLM resources, namely PubMed, MedlinePlus, and Bookshelf.
PubMed Health content falls into two general categories: consumer health resources and systematic reviews/comparative effectiveness research (CER). A similar range of consumer health information to that in PubMed Health is available from NLM’s MedlinePlus, while the systematic reviews and CER in PubMed Health are searchable through PubMed, which links to the full text (when available) in Bookshelf, journals, and/or PubMed Central.
What will change?
The primary change is that the PubMed Health website will not be available as of October 31, so if you previously accessed information through that site you instead will want to use PubMed to search for systematic reviews/CER and MedlinePlus to search for consumer health information.
PubMed has always indexed NLM’s systematic reviews/CER, so if you typically searched for that content via PubMed you would conduct your searches as usual. For those not familiar with using PubMed to search for systematic reviews, one simple way to do so is to enter your query in the search box and then limit the results to systematic reviews by marking the check box for them in “Customize” under “Article types,” located in the top left corner of the search results page (see Figure 1).
Also within the next year, PubMed will include a default check box for systematic reviews. You can get a sense of how that will look by visiting PubMed Labs, our Web site for experimenting with potential new features and interfaces for PubMed.
NLM is still figuring out some of the details of phasing out PubMed Health, but we wanted to give users advance notice. When more details become available, we will keep you informed via the NCBI Insights blog.