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Medical Subject Heading search now available in Addison


Sept. 4, 2009 – Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) is the National Library of Medicine's controlled vocabulary thesaurus used to describe and index books and articles in the life sciences, much like Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) describe and index works. MeSH terms are used extensively in databases like MEDLINE. You can now search MeSH from Addison's subject search screen in addition to the LCSH terms that have always been searchable. Also, like LCSH terms, records with MeSH terms will have those terms linked to MeSH searches.

Notes on Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)

For many years, MeSH terms were removed from records before they were added to Addison. More recently, MeSH terms were left in the record, but hidden from view and unsearchable. Now MeSH terms are searchable and appear near any Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH). We may add MeSH terms back to a select number of records, but replacing the terms removed from all modified records is extremely unlikely. If you find an important work in the life sciences that would benefit from having MeSH terms added, contact your college librarian.

LCSH terms are regularly updated and verified for accuracy. This process has not yet happened for MeSH terms; we are planning on performing this task after the end of the fall 2009 semester. Until then, records could have obsolete or outdated MeSH terms. We recommend supplementing a MeSH search with a subject keyword search from the Advanced Search screen for best results.


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