Review our current and previous class offerings below:


Want to do more with PubMed?

Want to extract just the PubMed data you need, in the format you want?

Dreaming of creating your own PubMed tool or interface, but don't know where to start?

Join us for an introduction to the Insider's Guide, a program designed to teach you more powerful and flexible ways of accessing NLM data, starting with the essentials of the Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for PubMed and other NCBI databases. The Insider's Guide is geared toward librarians and other information specialists who have experience using PubMed via the traditional Web interface, but now want to dig deeper. This class will start with the very basics of APIs, before showing you how to get started using the E-utilities API to search and retrieve records from PubMed. The class will also showcase some specific tools and utilities that information specialists can use to work with E-utilities, helping to prepare you for subsequent Insider's Guide classes. We will finish by looking at some practical examples of E-utilities in the real world, and hopefully inspire you to get out and put these lessons to use!

Upcoming Offerings

No upcoming offerings of this class are currently scheduled. See below for recordings of previous offerings.


Tuesday, May 2, 2017: View recording

Class Materials

The slides, script, sample code and links referenced in this class are available on the Class Materials page.


This series of interactive workshops will introduce new users to the basics of using EDirect to access exactly the PubMed data you need, in the format you need. Over the course of five 75-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. No prior Unix knowledge is required; novice users are welcome!

This series of classes involves hands-on demonstrations and exercises, as well as homework exercises between sessions. We encourage students to follow along. Before registering for these classes, we strongly recommend that you:

  • Be comfortable conducting basic searches in PubMed.
  • Watch the first Insider's Guide class "Welcome to E-utilities for PubMed", 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 (for more information, see our Installing EDirect page).
  • Install the EDirect software (for more information, see our Installing EDirect page).
Due to the nature of this class, registration will be limited to 100 students per offering.

Upcoming Offerings

July 2017 series: Register Now (Note: Before you register, you will be prompted to create a free account on the NNLM website. Be advised that account creation and confirmation may take up to 24 hours.)

  • Session 1: Monday, July 10
  • Session 2: Thursday, July 13
  • Session 3: Monday, July 17
  • Session 4: Thursday, July 20
  • Session 5: Monday, July 24

Each session begins at 1 PM ET and runs approximately 75 minutes. Students are expected to attend all five sessions.

Seven (7) hours of MLA CE credit are available for students who attend all sessions and complete the homework assignments.


(Note: These are recordings of an earlier, three-part version of EDirect for PubMed. The course content has since been updated and restructured into five sessions; some material in these recordings may be presented in different segments, or in a different order, in the new five-session version. Recordings of the new version will be posted after it launches in July 2017.)

February/March 2017 series:

Class Materials

The handouts, slides, script, sample code and links referenced in each session are available on the Class Materials page.