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

Module 4—Use of Topical Qualifiers (Subheadings)

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Subheading Records in MeSH Browser

  • Records always contain:
    • Preferred subheading term
    • Record Type of “Q”
    • Entry version (not used by catalogers)
    • Two letter abbreviation (corresponds to data in Allowable Qualifier list of main headings)
    • Date of establishment
    • Unique ID (always begins with Q)
  • Records may contain:
    • Scope note defining the term
    • Annotation clarifying proper use of the term
    • Online note (a statement on search policy and any database restrictions, relevant for searchers)
    • History note (date the record was added, followed by a note listing the chronology of category assignments for the subheading from the time it came into the system until the present, if there have been changes over time)
    • Entry terms (cross references)
    • Revision date

Sample Subheading Record


Screen capture of MeSH Browser showing subheading record for biosynthesis.



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