Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

MEDLINE Indexing Online Training Course

Indexing for MEDLINE

Introduction: Who are the indexers?

Modern biomedical literature is extremely complex. MeSH indexers must have a broad background in life sciences to understand and analyze biomedical articles.

Many MeSH indexers have advanced degrees in various biomedical sciences.

MEDLINE indexers index more than 850,000 articles each year for inclusion into Pubmed/MEDLINE the largest bibliographic data base in the world. These articles cover a broad spectrum of literature in life sciences including:

  • medicine
  • nursing
  • dentistry
  • veterinary medicine
  • health care systems
  • life sciences
  • some physical science (such as chemistry and physics)

The majority of journals are indexed "cover to cover." That is, all articles, substantive editorials, and letters are indexed. Some journals are selectively indexed, meaning that only those articles related to life sciences receive MeSH headings.

MEDLINE contains bibliographic citations and author abstracts from more than 5,600 medical and life science journals published in the United States and 70 other countries. The database contains over 21 million citations.

PubMed provides access to MEDLINE through an easy to use free Internet site.

A PubMed tutorial is available at: //

More information about MEDLINE is available at: //

Last Reviewed: January 18, 2017