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Table of Contents: 2017 JANUARY–FEBRUARY No. 414

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NLM Classification 2017 Winter Edition Now Available

Willis SR. NLM Classification 2017 Winter Edition Now Available. NLM Tech Bull. 2017 Jan-Feb;(414):e2.

2017 January 27 [posted]

As of 2017, the NLM Classification, available online at, has moved from an annual spring update to twice-yearly updates.

Scope of Revision of the 2017 Winter Edition

The 2017 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 2017 vocabulary in the MeSH Browser. Additional minor updates were made to the Index and Schedules.

Summary Statistics for the 2017 Winter Edition

  • 92 index main headings added (82 from 2017 MeSH)
  • 137 index entries modified
  • 10 index headings deleted
  • 5 class numbers added
  • 44 class number captions or notes modified
  • No class numbers canceled

Examples of Additions and Changes Based on MeSH 2017

Addition of Person Terms

The majority of the new Category M (Persons) terms from MeSH 2017 were added to the Classification index. For new specialist terms, the corresponding specialty terms in the index were modified. Also, notes were added to the Schedules to clarify the classification of the specialist/specialty only in the form number for the profession and the classification of the specialty and disease in the general works number. For example, the information about biography was removed from the index term Cardiology and added to the new term, Cardiologists. Instructional notes were added to WG 21 (Profession), WG 100 (General works) and WG 140 (Cardiovascular diseases) clarifying the classification practice of specialty and/or disease.

Changes to Main Index Headings

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

For example:

  • Dislocations was changed to Joint Dislocations.
  • Renal Osteodystrophy was changed to Chronic Kidney Disease-Mineral and Bone Disorder.
  • Pharmacists' Aides was changed to Pharmacy Technicians. [The caption at QV 21.5 was also updated to reflect the change in terminology]
  • The cross reference Gays was removed from Homosexuality and added to the new MeSH 2017 term, Sexual Minorities.

Deletion of Processes Terms

With MeSH 2017, most G tree "Processes" headings were deleted and made cross references to the parent "Phenomena" heading. For example, the index entry for Biophysical Processes was deleted and the term was made a cross reference to Biophysical Phenomena.

Class Numbers Added —2017 Winter Edition

New Number Class Name
WG 180Cardiac rehabilitation
WM 420.5.E3Emotion-focused therapy
WM 425.5.A5Anger management therapy
WM 425.5.A7Applied behavior analysis
WZ 112.5.V4Veterinarians

2017 Summer Edition

The 2017 summer version will be published in mid-to-late August 2017, and will encompass the ongoing systematic review of particular classification schedules and other miscellaneous updates. The PDF version will be published annually in conjunction with the summer version. To learn more about the NLM Classification see the Fact Sheet.

By Sharon Willis
Cataloging and Metadata Management Section, Technical Services Division

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