1) Provide only as much information as is needed. You need only provide as much information as is needed to retrieve your citation. For instance, sometimes just supplying the volume, issue, and first page creates a unique enough search to retrieve the article you are looking for.
2) Don't give up after the first search. Just because you obtained no results (or too many results!) on the first try does not mean the article you are looking for is not in PubMed. When you are searching for a known citation it is possible that some of the data you have been provided with is wrong, so you might try rerunning the search without some of the data you included in the first search. Or if you are getting too many results from only placing a minimal amount of data into Single Citation Matcher, try rerunning the search with more information.
3) Use the "suggested author names" feature in the author field to its fullest. When you begin to type in an author name, you will see suggested author names appear. Selecting the correct last name from the list is crucial, and while including an author's initials is not essential, using author initials is very helpful in narrowing down the search; so when it is an option, select the suggested author name which includes both the last name (surname) which also has the appropriate initials to the side of it.
Single Citation Matcher is a search tool in PubMed which is especially useful for:
The steps follow as to how to access Single Citation Matcher and then run a search in it. For the example below, a search will be run looking for the following citation:
Seldes RM. In-Line Skating injuries. 2001;31(9):691-9.
1) Go to the PubMed homepage and from "Find" category, click on the "Single Citation Matcher" link.
2) On the Single Citation Matcher page, enter the citation information into the appropriate fields. Notice that because the journal title was not available in our sample citation, the journal field is left blank; you do not have to provide information for every field. For this search the title field will also be left blank. Also notice that as you begin to enter a name into the author field (the same holds true for the journal title field), it will begin to provide a list of names from which you can select the closest match. After you enter the citation information, click the "Search" button.
3) Running the above search in Single Citation Matcher with the minimal amount of information we provided provides us with the following citation (which is exactly the one we were looking for):