The Insider's Guide to Accessing NLM Data: EDirect for PubMed

MLA Course
Listing Archived: Wednesday, December 31, 1969

Primary contact information...
US National Library of Medicine
38A Center Dr.
Bethesda MD , 20894
United States
Mike Davidson is the primary contact.

Description: This series of workshops will introduce new users to the basics of using EDirect to access exactly the PubMed data you need, in the format you need. No prior Unix knowledge is required; novice users are welcome! This series of classes involves hands-on demonstrations and exercises, and we encourage students to follow along. Before registering for these classes, we strongly recommend that you: Watch the first Insider’s Guide class “Welcome to E-utilities for PubMed”, (see or be familiar with the basic concepts of APIs and E-utilities. Be familiar with structured XML data (basic syntax, elements, attributes, etc.) Have access to a Unix command-line environment on your computer. Install the EDirect software. Information on technical requirements and software can be found at:

Experience Level: Beginning Plus
Continuing Education Experience: Introductory Webinar or equivalent (see site
CE Contact Hours: 4.5
Professional Competencies: Information Systems and Technology, Research + Analysis and Interpretation
Subject: NLM Databases, Technology/Systems
Course Type: e-Learning


Over the course of three 90-minute sessions, students will:
- learn how to use EDirect commands in a Unix environment to access PubMed, 
- design custom output formats, 
- create basic data pipelines to get data quickly and efficiently, and 
- develop simple strategies for solving real-world PubMed data-gathering challenges.

Need for This Course: An introductory Webinar on the topic had more than 700 registrants and more than 400 attendees.

The instructional methods used include Lecture, Demonstration, and Hands-on Exercises.

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