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History of Medicine

FAQ
IndexCat™ -- Subject Term Searches and Retrieval


Question:  Why are some Index-Catalogue subject headings different for the same topic?


Answer:

Subject vocabulary in the Index-Catalogue collection is not necessarily consistent for headings or format. It reflects the assigned headings from the printed Index-Catalogue and at this time, there is no normalization between series. For this reason, IndexCat™ provides Keyword searches to Subject terms rather than controlled phrase searches.

Example 1:

Series 1-5:
Has entries for small-pox, small pox and smallpox
Search both formats using Boolean OR along with double quotes.
Example: "small pox" OR smallpox

Example 2:

Series 1: Lists no citations with the subject 'anthrax'. 'Anthrax' is a "see" reference to other terms used to index citations: Carbuncle, Charbon, and Pustule (Malignant)

Series 2-5: Lists citations with the subject term 'anthrax' and also lists other related subject terms.

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http://www.nlm.nih.gov/services/icsubjectheadings.html