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NLM Classification 2017: Worldwide source of medical library classification

Scope of Revision of the 2020 Summer Edition


The 2020 MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) vocabulary was evaluated for inclusion in the Classification index. Several additions and changes were made to the Index and Schedules based on this review. All main index headings are now linked to the 2020 vocabulary in the MeSH Browser. A mini-systematic review of the W 775-867 Medicolegal Examination section was conducted. Additional minor updates were made to the Index and Schedules.


Summary Statistics for the 2020 Summer Edition

  • 59 index main headings added (49 from 2020 MeSH)
  • 155 index entries modified
  • 5 index headings deleted
  • 11 class numbers added [see Class Numbers Added and Canceled (Current Edition)]
  • 338 class number captions or notes modified
  • 3 schedule range headers modified
  • 2 class numbers canceled

Examples of Additions and Changes Based on MeSH 2020

Numerous main index entries and cross references were modified to reflect changes in the MeSH vocabulary.


Parentheses Removal Project

Parentheses were removed from several MeSH headings with 2020 MeSH. The terms that were in the index were modified along with any see also references to them, for example:

  • Mainstreaming (Education) was changed to Mainstreaming, Education
  • Codependency (Psychology) was changed to Codependency, Psychological
  • Decapoda (Crustacea) was changed to Decapoda


Publication Type (PTs) and As Topic Terms

Several PTs and “as Topic” terms in the index were modified to reflect the 2020 MeSH changes, for example:

  • Formularies, Dental was changed to Formulary, Dental
  • Phrase was changed to Phrases
  • Abstracting and Indexing as Topic was changed to Abstracting and Indexing
  • Autobiography as Topic was changed to Autobiographies as Topic


Additions/Changes to the Schedules as the Result of New MeSH Additions to the Index

  • Bone Marrow Failure Disorders: new number created for all Bone marrow diseases, WH 385
  • Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy: Caption at WJ 378 changed from: Artificial kidney. Renal dialysis. Peritoneal dialysis to Artificial kidney. Renal replacement therapy
  • Hair Analysis: new number created: QY 230 Hair analysis
  • Interpersonal Psychotherapy: new number created: WM 420.5.I4 Interpersonal psychotherapy
  • Narcotic-Related Disorders: new number created: WM 282 Narcotic-related disorders; Opioid-related disorders indented under this new number
  • Obesity, Maternal: new number created under Pregnancy complications: WQ 258 Obesity
  • Ototoxicity: new number created for general ear diseases, WV 215
  • Right to Health: new numbers created: W 68 Right to health (Table G) and W 68.1 General coverage (Not Table G)
  • Smart Materials: new number created: QT 37.5.S6 Smart materials
  • Veterans Health: Veterans health added to caption at WA 360 Military health

Mini-Systematic Review of W 775-867 Medicolegal Examination Section

The Medicolegal Examination Section W 775-867 is divided into 2 subsections: One for the examination of the living and the other for the examination of the dead. Some topics, e.g., wound ballistics, are about both the dead and the living, and having to class under one of these subsections did not seem appropriate. A mini-systematic review was conducted resulting in multiple revisions to class numbers and corresponding index terms.

  • The header for W 775-867 was changed to Forensic Examination
  • The outdated term “medicolegal” was removed from all occurrences in the classification schedules and index
  • All of the class numbers in this section were put at the same level; there are no longer separate subsections for the living and the dead
  • 2 class numbers deleted
    • W 780 Examination of the living
    • W 822 Destruction and attempted destruction of the human body
  • 2 index terms added
    • Body Remains
    • Corpse Dismemberment
  • 49 index terms modified

Deletion of Group Form Number Labels

Labels preceding groups of certain form numbers were removed. More specific captions were added to the form numbers. For example, the group label Collected works which preceded the form numbers QS 5 and QS 7, was deleted. The caption for QS 5 was changed from By several authors to Collected works by several authors; QS 7 was changed from By individual authors to Collected works by individual authors.


Table G (Geographic Notation) Additions

The following geographic notations were modified based on MeSH 2020 changes.

  • GM2—was changed from Macedonia (Republic) to Republic of North Macedonia
  • HS9— was changed from Swaziland to Eswatini

2020 Summer Edition

The 2020 summer version will be published in mid-to-late August 2020. It will encompass the systematic review of the WD (Disorders of Systemic, Metabolic or Environmental Origin, etc.) and WO (Surgery) schedules and other miscellaneous updates. The PDF version will be published annually in the fall.