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Medical Subject Headings

MeSH® Memorandum of Understanding

You should read carefully the following Memorandum of Understanding. Downloading MeSH data through this site indicates your acceptance of the following terms and conditions.

1. MeSH Subject Authority File

MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) is the National Library of Medicine's controlled vocabulary thesaurus. Several MeSH files are available via FTP and have online documentation. MeSH is updated annually and users of this information are encouraged to obtain the new year's data. The data are generally available by mid-November of the preceding year.

2. Terms and conditions of use

No license is required to obtain the data via FTP. Use of this data is subject to the following restrictions and by obtaining a copy of the data, the user is understood to abide by these conditions:

a). If the use is not personal, (1) the U.S. National Library of Medicine must be identified as the creator, maintainer, and provider of the data; (2) the version of the data must be clearly stated by MeSH year, e.g., 1997 MeSH; and (3) if any modification is made in the content of the file, this must be stated, along with a description of the modifications.

b). Neither the United States Government, nor any of its agencies, contractors, subcontractors or employees makes any warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to data contained in the database, and, furthermore, assumes no legal liability for any party's use, or the results of such use, of any part of the database.

c). You will not assert any proprietary rights to any portion of the database, or represent the database or any part thereof to anyone as other than a United States Government database.

d). The MeSH data carry an international copyright outside the United States, its Territories or Possessions. These terms and conditions are in effect as long as the user retains any of the MeSH data obtained from this site.

3. Availability

The data are available to all requesters, both within and outside the United States. There is no charge for obtaining the file. Users are required to complete an online registration form before receiving the data.