Module 1: Foundations of MeSH in MEDLINE®

MeSH Vocabulary

Publication Characteristics

Publication Characteristics (also called “Publication Types”) describe the type of publication being indexed (i.e., the format of the publication) or characteristics of the research (i.e., the research design). There are also Publication Type terms that describe what type of organization funded the research. To see a list of Publication Characteristics, visit .

There are three main categories:

  1. Publication Components (e.g., Abstracts)
  2. Publication Formats (e.g., Lectures, Letter)
  3. Study Characteristics (e.g., Clinical Trial, Twin Study)

Notice in our PubMed citation example ( ) that Randomized Controlled Trial and Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov’t are listed under Publication Types.

PubMed citation screen shot of Publication Types showing Randomized Controlled Trial, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't