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Cataloging and Metadata Management: Using Medical Subject Headings (MeSH®) in Cataloging

Page 18 of 19

MARC Coding

  • Topical terms are recorded in the MARC 650 field, using the second indicator “2” to show that they come from the MeSH thesaurus
  • Primary subject headings are coded with a 650 first indicator of “1”, secondary subjects are assigned the first indicator of “2.”
  • MeSH descriptors are generally recorded in 650 $a, topical subheadings are recorded in 650 $x (Cf. Module 4—Use of Topical Subheadings).

MARC Coding - Example 1

  • A work on fire prevention in hospitals is coded as follows (both headings are primary)
    • 650 12 $a Fires $x prevention & control
    • 650 12 $a Hospitals

MARC Coding - Example 2

  • A work on acupuncture for chronic low back pain (first heading is primary)
    • 650 12 $a Low Back Pain $x therapy
    • 650 22 $a Acupuncture Therapy
    • 650 22 $a Chronic Disease $x therapy

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