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Cataloging: Using Medical Subject Headings (MeSH®) in Cataloging

Module 3—Selecting the Main Concept

page 11 of 20


Finding Appropriate Main Headings

  • If you are having difficulties in finding appropriate terms in the MeSH browser:
    • try to think of some synonyms for the concept and search those terms
    • identify a broader or narrower term and examine the trees to find the term appropriate for your item
  • For very new concepts or particularly problematic titles, try searching the NLM Catalog or PubMed® for some of the keywords you have identified, or for other works by the author of your piece
  • Seeing terms assigned to similar material may assist you in assigning the proper MeSH
    • One word of caution: indexers often use more specific terms than a cataloger would, you may find the most appropriate heading higher in the tree


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