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

Page 4 of 9

Subheading Hierarchies

  • Topical subheadings are also arranged in an informal hierarchical structure
  • For example, diagnosis is the broad qualifier, narrower qualifiers dealing with diagnosis include pathology, radiography, radionuclide imaging, and ultrasonography
  • The subheading hierarchies can be found here.

Rule of Three

  • If more than one subheading is needed, repeat the main heading with the appropriate subheading
  • Generally, no more than three topical subheadings should be used with any one main heading
  • Use the subheading hierarchies to assist in reducing the number of subheadings
  • If going up the hierarchy does not help reduce the number of subheadings, use the main heading without any subdivisions

Example

  • You have a work discussing the issues related to a deficiency of estrogens and how to analyze how much estrogen is in the blood, cerebrospinal fluid and urine
    • Use 650 _2 $a Estrogens $x metabolism
              NOT
      • 650 _2 $a Estrogens $x deficiency
      • 650 _2 $a Estrogens $x blood
      • 650 _2 $a Estrogens $x cerebrospinal fluid
      • 650 _2 $a Estrogens $x urine

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