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MeSH for Searchers

MeSH for Searchers

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MeSH for Searchers

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  1. MeSH for Searchers Medical Library Association Dallas, TX, May 17, 2002 Carolyn Anne Reid, M.A., AHIP

  2. MeSH for Searchers • Overview of the Course • General Introduction to MeSH • Applying Basic Indexing Principles • Coordinate indexing • Specificity • Subheadings • Check Tags • Interpreting MeSH Annotations MeSH for Searchers

  3. MeSH for Searchers • Overview, cont. • Publication Types • Pharmacologic Actions • Neoplasm Searching • Vendor Variations of MeSH • Keeping Up • Questions and General Discussion MeSH for Searchers

  4. General Introduction to MeSH • History • Predecessors • Card file used by catalogers • Authority list developed for indexing Current List of Medical Literature, 1954 MeSH for Searchers


  6. General Introduction to MeSH • Design principles of “modern” MeSH • Support for MEDLARS • Single list for indexing and cataloging • Co-ordinate indexing MeSH for Searchers

  7. General Introduction to MeSH • Print formats • MeSH before 1975 • The “public” or black and white MeSH • The searcher’s MeSH — three volumes • Annotated Alphabetic List • Tree Structures • Permuted MeSH for Searchers


  9. General Introduction to MeSH • Electronic formats • The MeSH Browser at NLM • • MeSH with PubMed • MeSH as displayed on Dialog • Other electronic forms: Ovid, Knowledge Finder, etc. MeSH for Searchers

  10. General Introduction to MeSH • Documentation that may be helpful • The NLM Technical Bulletin • • MeSH for Searchers web page • • Out-of-print resources • Online Services Reference Manual, Chapter 5 • Technical Notes and Tumor Key • MEDLARS Indexing Manual • Most are or will be on NLM web site MeSH for Searchers

  11. General Introduction to MeSH • MeSH Epochs • 1960 - 1974 • MAIN HEADINGS searched as central concept or peripheral point • PROVISIONAL HEADINGS can only be searched as peripheral points (NIM) • Textwords come from titles only • “See Under” terms cannot be searched MeSH for Searchers

  12. General Introduction to MeSH • MeSH Epochs • 1975 - 1990 • MAJOR DESCRIPTORS and MINOR DESCRIPTORS all searched as either central concepts or peripheral points • MINOR DESCRIPTORS not used in print Index Medicus • Most “see under” terms and provisionals became MINOR DESCRIPTORS • “See” cross references are searchable terms • Abstracts added to over half the citations MeSH for Searchers

  13. General Introduction to MeSH • MeSH Epochs • 1991 - present • All MINOR DESCRIPTORS elevated to MAJOR DESCRIPTOR status • All terms and cross references can be searched as either central concepts or peripheral points • PUBLICATION TYPES added to replace former “citation types” MeSH for Searchers

  14. General Introduction to MeSH • NLM terms vs. terms used by other vendors • MeSH the thesaurus vs. “mesh” the Ovid database • Major descriptor vs. “major concept” • Central concept vs. “main point” (also IM) • Minor descriptor vs. “peripheral point” (also NIM) MeSH for Searchers

  15. Basic Indexing Principles • Co-ordinate indexing • MEDLARS Indexing Manual (4:2): • “combination or coordination of two or more indexing terms, some destined for publication in Index Medicus and others destined for storage [in] the computer for future retrieval.” • Frank Bradway Rogers, Preface to 1960 MeSH: • “… the natural language, as rich as it is, is not rich enough to provide a single word or phrase adequate to the purpose.” MeSH for Searchers

  16. Basic Indexing Principles • Specificity — the supreme concept in NLM indexing • Introduction to the 1960 MeSH: • “Enter the most specific term or terms available within this system.” • Always find the most specific term to cover the concept you are searching • Prefer use of specific term ATENOLOL rather than more general term ANTIHYPERTENTIVE AGENTS • Prefer use of specific term ESCHERICHIA COLI to more general term GRAM-NEGATIVE BACTERIA MeSH for Searchers

  17. Basic Indexing Principles • Levels of specificity • Most specific is the precoordinated term • KIDNEY TRANSPLANTATION • not KIDNEY and TRANSPLANTATION • not KIDNEY/transplantation • EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE • not MEDICINE and DECISION MAKING • not CLINICAL MEDICINE/trends MeSH for Searchers

  18. Basic Indexing Principles • Levels of specificity • Next most specific is the term/subheading combination • KIDNEY/pathology • not KIDNEY and PATHOLOGY • HYPERTENSION/diet therapy • not HYPERTENSION and DIET THERAPY MeSH for Searchers

  19. Basic Indexing Principles • Levels of specificity • Least specific is the post-coordination of two or more MeSH headings • KIDNEY CALCULI and DIET • PRESBYOPIA and REFRACTION, OCULAR • PLANT EXTRACTS and PHYTOTHERAPY and GINKGO BILOBA/therapeutic use MeSH for Searchers

  20. Basic Indexing Principles • Choosing the most specific terms — an exercise • The volume of air that the lungs can take with a full, complete inspiration • A. LUNG VOLUME MEASUREMENTS and RESPIRATION • B. INSPIRATORY RESERVE VOLUME • C. RESPIRATORY MECHANICS/analysis • D. RESPIRATORY PHYSIOLOGY MeSH for Searchers

  21. Basic Indexing Principles • Choosing the most specific terms • Gastritis caused by aspirin • A. ASPIRIN/pharmacology and GASTRITIS/ chemically induced • B. ASPIRIN/adverse effects and GASTRITIS/physiopathology • C. ASPIRIN/adverse effects and GASTRITIS/chemically induced • D. ASPIRIN/adverse effects and GASTRITIS/etiology MeSH for Searchers

  22. Basic Indexing Principles • Choosing the most specific terms • Pancreatic ductal cell carcinoma metastasizing to the thyroid • A. THYROID DISEASES/etiology and PANCREATIC DISEASES/complications • B. THYROID NEOPLASMS/pathology and PANCREATIC NEOPLASMS/pathology • C. THYROID NEOPLASMS/secondary and CARCINOMA and PANCREATIC NEOPLASMS/complications • D. THYROID NEOPLASMS/secondary and CARCINOMA, PANCREATIC DUCTAL MeSH for Searchers

  23. Subheadings • Value of subheadings in searching • Indexers always ask themselves this question: • “What [specific] aspect of this main heading is the author writing about or discussing?” MeSH for Searchers

  24. Subheadings • How subheadings are used • Assignment of subheadings • Frequently used with MeSH terms • Rarely is a main heading used without a subheading • Up to three or more subheadings may be assigned to a single main heading • Subheadings introduce greater specificity • Subheadings can show relationships • Some common combinations of subheadings MeSH for Searchers

  25. Subheadings • Considerations in the use of subheadings • Carefully read definition in Annotated MeSH, become familiar with subheadings that are available • Recognize that there are “legal MH/sh combinations” — the category must match • Not all subheadings have been available since the beginning — watch the dates MeSH for Searchers

  26. Subheadings • Considerations in their use, cont. • Topical Subheadings by Allowable Category in Annotated MeSH • “Pre-exploded” subheadings, subheading trees • Do not confuse a /subheading with a similar MAIN HEADING — read annotation carefully • /drug therapy vs. DRUG THERAPY • /statistics vs. STATISTICS MeSH for Searchers

  27. Subheadings • Searching using subheadings • Attached directly to a main heading • Individual, central concept or peripheral point MH/sh VENOUS THROMBOSIS/DT [MH] *MH/sh COMMON COLD/VI [MJ] MeSH for Searchers

  28. Subheadings • Searching using subheadings • Attached and exploded (automatic with PubMed) EXP MH/sh HEART/EN [MH] EXP *MH/sh ANTICOAGULANTS/TU [MJ] MeSH for Searchers

  29. Subheadings • Searching using subheadings • Attached with no explosion MH/sh w/o EXP RESPIRATION/RE [MH:NOEXP] *MH/sh w/o EXP PAIN/TH [MJ:NOEXP] MeSH for Searchers

  30. Subheadings • Searching using subheadings • Multiple subheadings attached to main heading (not available on PubMed) MH/sh, sh, sh OSTEOPOROSIS/DI, TH, PA *MH/sh, sh, sh *BURN UNITS/OG, SN MeSH for Searchers

  31. Subheadings • Searching using subheadings • Individual “floating” subheadings (DIET [MH] OR FOOD [MH]) AND SU [SH] (LIVER [MH] OR KIDNEY [MH]) AND IS [SH] MeSH for Searchers

  32. Subheadings • Searching using subheadings • Floating subheading “trees” INDIANA [MH] AND OG [SH] SARIN [MJ] AND (DI [SH] OR TH [SH]) MeSH for Searchers

  33. Subheadings • When searching with floating subheadings —FALSE DROPS will be retrieved • Psychological stress caused by the surgical treatment of some other ailment—AND ALSO • Psychological stress discussed in same article as surgical treatment but with no actual relationship STRESS, PSYCHOLOGICAL [MH] AND SU [SH] MeSH for Searchers

  34. Subheadings • EXERCISE ON USE OFSUBHEADINGS MeSH for Searchers

  35. Check Tags • The check tag approach to indexing or why do they call them “check tags” anyway? • Each article is routinely “checked” for these concepts • With the paper indexing form, indexers made a “check mark” for these concepts MeSH for Searchers

  36. Check Tags • Considerations in the use of check tags • Most consistently applied of all types of indexing terms • “Useful redundancy” saves searchers’ time • Online check tag resource • Funk ME, Reid CA. Indexing consistency in MEDLINE, Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1983 Apr;71(2):176-83. MeSH for Searchers

  37. Check Tags • Some check tags will NEVER be the central concept • ANIMAL HUMAN • FEMALE MALE • CASE REPORT COMPARATIVE STUDY ENGLISH ABSTRACT • IN VITRO • SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T • SUPPORT, U.S. GOV'T, NON-P.H.S. SUPPORT, U.S. GOV'T, P.H.S. MeSH for Searchers

  38. Check Tags • Special aspects of some check tags • HUMAN • MALE, FEMALE — as compared with the use of MEN, WOMEN • PREGNANCY — normal is usually IM • ANIMAL — as compared with ANIMALS MeSH for Searchers

  39. Check Tags • Special aspects, cont. • Age groups — can be central concept • Used for humans only • IM when social, political, psychological, economic aspects • INFANT, NEWBORN — special use of IM • Pre-exploded check tags: ADULT and CHILD • AGED as compared with AGED, 80 AND OVER MeSH for Searchers

  40. Check Tags • Special aspects, cont. • IN VITRO — literally “in glass” — testing done outside the body in test tubes, etc. • CASE REPORT — as compared with REVIEW OF REPORTED CASES [PT] • COMPARATIVE STUDY — uses and restrictions • Use of “support check tags” and ID numbers for grant or contract support MeSH for Searchers

  41. Check Tags • EXERCISE ON USE OFCHECK TAGS MeSH for Searchers

  42. Interpreting MeSH Annotations • There are three basic types of annotations • Indexing annotations • History and online notes (for searchers) • Cataloging practices MeSH for Searchers

  43. Interpreting MeSH Annotations • Thelma Charenthe “author” ofMeSH MeSH for Searchers

  44. Interpreting MeSH Annotations • Basic format of annotation in printed MeSH • TERM • Consider also reference(s) • Tree number(s) • Indexing annotation(s) CATALOG: cataloging practice(s) • History note(s) combined with online note(s) • Forward cross reference(s) • Backward cross reference(s) • Entry combination reference(s) MeSH for Searchers

  45. Interpreting MeSH Annotations • Additional information available in the MeSH Browser: • Scope note • Entry terms • Pharmacologic action terms • Allowable qualifiers • Previous indexing • CAS type 1 name • Registry number, related number(s) MeSH for Searchers

  46. Interpreting MeSH Annotations • Additional drug/chemical information in the MeSH Browser • Supplementary concept data records (new drugs and chemicals, enzymes, etc.) • Heading mapped to (MeSH term used) • Source (first MEDLINE reference noted) • Thesaurus ID • Frequency • Note(s) • Date of entry MeSH for Searchers

  47. Interpreting MeSH Annotations • Information available in annotations • Special annotations throughout for surgical procedures, inflammatory diseases, infections, infestations, neoplasms, deficiency states, etc. • Special reminders always included for check tags • Abbreviations frequently used • Web page for more details: • MeSH for Searchers

  48. Interpreting MeSH Annotations • The specialty terms • “SPEC” annotation, clearly identifies the speciality terms • “SPEC qualif”, the only subheadings allowed with specialty terms • DERMATOLOGY compared with SKIN DISEASES MeSH for Searchers

  49. Interpreting MeSH Annotations • History and online notes • Dates, xx(xx) — status of term: main heading, provisional heading, minor descriptor • NO DATE = 1966 - DATE • Changes in form, status, tree category, and mapping • Online notes reflect searching, generally “use term A to search term B 19xx-xx” or “search term C 1966-xx” • Online and history notes being combined MeSH for Searchers

  50. Interpreting MeSH Annotations • Searching the “backfiles” • Usually search the entire MEDLINE database at once: 1966 - date • MeSH terms have changed in past 35 years • Note date the term became available, both main heading and subheading • Read online and history notes carefully • Remember the MeSH epochs MeSH for Searchers