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MEDLINE: PubMed and Ovid Platforms: MeSH

Platforms for searching MEDLINE.

MeSH: The Backbone of MEDLINE

MeSH, an acronym for Medical Subject Headings, is the controlled vocabulary system applied to all articles in MEDLINE.  MeSH is:

  • uniform and consistent.
  • arranged in a hierarchical manner called the MeSH Tree Structures.
  • updated annually.
  • a districtive feature of MEDLINE.

MeSH vocabulary is used in both NLM and Ovid platforms.


MeSH Headings, Subheadings, and Publication Types are organized in MeSH trees with the broadest headings at the top.  For example under the heading Migraine, is the subheading "Chemically induced" and "Systematic Reviews" can be winnowed at the base of the MeSH tree.

Professional indexers assign MeSH vocabulary to MEDLINE records.

  • Each publication is indexed with numerous MeSH Headings
  • About 3 MeSH Headings are designated as major MesH topics for the article and are indicated with an asterisk (*)

               

  

Search Details

Did our search terms map correctly?  If your results appear off-target or incomplete, check the Search Details box, which appears on PubMed's first result page.  Chances are the search terms you used did not map to MeSH.  

Checking search details can prevent you from exploring a dead-end path!

Using MeSH: PubMed and Ovid

Medical Subject Headings (MeSH), is the controlled vocabulary system applied to all articles in MEDLINE.  

 

MeSH is:

  • uniform and consistent
  • arranged in a hierarchical manner called the MeSH Tree Structures
  • updated annually by professional indexers
  • a districtive feature of MEDLINE
  • MeSH vocabulary is used in both PubMed and Ovid platforms‚Äč

 

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Resource for learning more about MeSH: