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Subheadings (qualifiers)

Principles of Coordination

Coordination is a fundamental principle of MeSH indexing. By proper coordination of a limited number of MeSH headings and appropriate subheadings, the indexer can describe the entire content of any lengthy and complex article. In order to adequately index the content of an article, it is usually not enough to use a single MeSH term. In most cases, two or more MeSH terms are needed, and even more frequently, a MeSH heading/subheading combined with another MeSH heading with or without subheading are needed. Several MeSH heading / subheading combinations logically go together. The indexer should become familiar with these common pairings and use them appropriately.

Here are examples of common coordinations.

If an article discusses treatment of a disease with a drug, correct indexing would be

DISEASE /*drug ther
DRUG /*ther use

Wrong indexing would be

DISEASE /*drug ther
DRUG /*metab

If an article discusses metabolism of a substance in an organ in a disease, correct indexing would be:

DISEASE /*metab
ORGAN /*metab

Wrong indexing would be

DISEASE /*physiopathol
ORGAN /*pathol

A listing of common coordinations appears below. NLM staff see the Indexing Manual for more information on coordinations.

DISEASE /chem ind
DRUG /adv eff
DISEASE /diag image
ORGAN /diag image
ORGAN /surg
ORGAN /anat
DISEASE /pathol
ORGAN / pathol
DISEASE /physiopathol
ORGAN /physiopathol
DISEASE /etiol
TECHNIQUE /adv eff
DRUG /pharmacol
ORGAN /drug eff
DRUG /pharmacol
DRUG /metab
ORGANISM /drug eff
DRUG / pharmacol
ORGAN /metab
DISEASE /metab
ORGAN /metab
DRUG /metab or /pharmacokin
DISEASE /radiother
ORGAN /chem
DISEASE /drug ther
DRUG /ther use



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Last Reviewed: January 18, 2017