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

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Topical Subheadings

  • Topical subheadings or qualifiers are used to narrow the specific focus of a main topical heading to a particular aspect of the subject. For example:
    • The diagnosis or therapy of a disease
    • The physiology or pathology of an organ
    • The metabolism of a drug
    • The economics of providing a service
  • Currently there are 83 topical qualifiers used for indexing and cataloging
  • A list of all the topical qualifiers can be found here.
  • Qualifiers can also be searched and retrieved in the MeSH browser. They can be distinguished from main heading because the terms are all in lower case and have a record type of “Q”

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