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Introduction to NCBI Bioinformatics Resources: NCBI Overview

A concise introduction to the various bioinformatic data available from NCBI.

Accessing NCBI


The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) provides a wealth of information in the fields of medicine and biological sciences.  Most people are familiar with PubMed and Medline Plus - searchable databases to the literature.  But, this is only a small subset of the available resources. 

You can easily reach NCBI from ER using the Featured Resource PubMed@USU button or by searching for PubMed in ER.


(You can also access NCBI directly at:


From the PubMed homepage, change the database option to All Databases with no terms supplied and click Search.

NCBI Contents

What is returned from the All Databases search is an annotated list of the searchable database resources that are available. As can be seen, the familiar Literature resources are just a small fraction of the total.

The various database are interconnected, with the Gene database being the central resource.  Most searches will  begin in either PubMed with a jump to Gene or starting in Gene directly.

The rest of this guide will walk you through some common sample searches.

Searching for Gene Information - Basic search strategy and information for Genes

Searching for Protein Information - Basic search strategy and information for Proteins

View Structure Information - How to access Structure data for Proteins

Sequence Search - A basic introduction to using BLAST for sequence searching