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  April 25, 2003 [posted]
  May 1, 2003 [updated text]
  May 2, 2003 [updated text]
  New Entrez Database: MeSH

drop cap letter for t he National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) has created a new Entrez database, MeSH. The new database replaces the PubMed® MeSH Browser and provides additional search and display features. The MeSH database is available from the "Search" pull-down menu and from the PubMed sidebar.

Use the MeSH database to find MeSH terms - Headings, Subheadings, and Publication Types - and build a PubMed search strategy. The MeSH database interface includes the same features (History, Clipboard, etc.) available in other Entrez databases. It also includes links to the NLM MeSH Browser.

The Entrez MeSH database can be searched by MeSH term, MeSH Entry Term, Subheading, Publication Type, or words within a MeSH Scope Note. Subheadings and Publication Types are included in the MeSH term searches. Terms without search tags are searched using PubMed's Automatic Term Mapping feature.

Search results are displayed in the Summary format (see Figure 1). If there is an exact match for the term searched, this term will display at the top of the retrieval. Additional terms are listed in relevance-ranked order based on the search word(s) entered. [updated 5/1/2003] This display may include a Scope Note (the meaning for this concept), and the year the term was introduced into the MeSH vocabulary (no year indicates the term has been part of MeSH since the early 1960's). Suggested terms are also provided on the Summary display. The suggestions are MeSH or Entry terms that are generated using an algorithm that compares letter combinations in words. You can use the MeSH term/Entry Term suggestion links to go directly to a record. A new set of suggestions will be displayed based on the selected term. Suggestions are particularly helpful when the searcher misspells a word (see Figure 2).

  Portion of MeSH Database Search Results for gastritis
  Suggestions for misspelled term, tamoxifin include the correct term tamoxifen

From the Summary format, you can run a PubMed search for a MeSH term by using the Links pull-down menu included with each item (see Figure 3). This method of searching PubMed retrieves the term, and any of it's indented terms (i.e., the explode) without any specifications, such as major concept. [updated 5/2/2003] (See the explanation for the Full display for including specifications for a MeSH term in PubMed.) The Links technique can be used with all display formats. The Links menu also includes the NLM MeSH Browser for more information about the MeSH term.

  The Links pull-down menu runs a PubMed search for a MeSH term

The MeSH database provides additional information about each term in the Full format. To see this format for a single term, simply click on the MeSH term. To view all the terms in your retrieval in the fuller format, select Full from the Display pull-down menu and click on the Display button, or make selections using the check box next to each term before changing the display format. In addition to the name of the term, the Scope Note and year introduced, the Full display for MeSH headings includes check boxes for subheadings, the major concept indicator, and a "do not explode" option. Entry Terms, Previous Indexing, See Also terms, and the term positioned in the MeSH Tree Hierarchy are also part of the Full format for headings (see Figure 4). The full format for Subheadings and Publications Types displays information relevant to these terms.

  MeSH Database Full Display for Tissue Transplantationi

The MeSH database provides a Search Box that can be used to build a PubMed search strategy (see Figure 5). From any display format, select a MeSH term, including specifications if using the Full display, e.g., Subheadings. Next, use the Send to pull-down menu to select one of the following instructions:
       Search Box with AND
       Search Box with OR
       Search Box with NOT
and click on the Send to button. Your term with any specifications you made will appear in the Search Box. To add additional terms to this strategy, continue searching the database and add terms to the Search Box using the Send to Search Box feature. You may also enter terms, directly into the box, e.g., AND eng [la]. See PubMed's Help for information about search syntax. When you have completed your search, click on the button, Search PubMed.

  MeSH Database Search PubMed Box with Send to Search Box Displayed

Supplementary Concept Records are not included in the MeSH database at this time.

For additional information about this database, please see Help.

By Kathi Canese
National Center for Biotechnolgy Information

black line separting article from citation

Canese K. New Entrez Database: MeSH. NLM Tech Bull. 2003 Mar-Apr;(331):e13.


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Last updated: 11 April 2012