Boehr D, Willis S. Cataloging News 2013. NLM Tech Bull. 2012 Nov-Dec;(389):e3.
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) adopted the 2013 MeSH vocabulary for cataloging on November 19, 2012.
Accordingly, MeSH subject headings in LocatorPlus were changed to reflect the 2013 MeSH vocabulary and appear in that form as of November 19, 2012.
When year-end processing (YEP) activities are completed in mid-December, the NLM Catalog database and translation tables will be updated to reflect 2013 MeSH. Until then, note that there will be a hiatus in the addition of new and edited bibliographic records to the NLM Catalog.
The Index to the NLM Classification will not reflect 2013 MeSH changes until Spring 2013.
MeSH 2013 Changes in NLM Bibliographic Records
In general, the Cataloging Section implemented the vocabulary changes in NLM bibliographic records for books, serials, and other materials, as they were applied for citations in MEDLINE. For highlights about 2013 MeSH, see the articles, What's New for 2013 MeSH and MEDLINE Data Changes 2013.
- Geography, Medical
Although the annotation indicates this is a discipline (specialty), catalogers are allowed to use this heading as a non-specialty as well.
- New Database Terms
The new terms Databases, Chemical and Databases, Pharmaceutical (along with the other existing database terms treed under Databases as Topic) should be used for works about databases. For items which are actually databases, use the publication type Database (655) and the topical subject (650). For example, use 655 Database + 650 Chemistry when cataloging a chemical database.
Islands is treed under Environment and also in the Z tree under Geographic Locations. Normally, terms in the Z tree are used in the 651 field on the bibliographic record. However, it is the NLM policy that terms in Z tree that are located in other trees are recorded in 650, rather than 651. Oceans and Seas is another example of a multiply treed Z term that is recorded in the 650.
- Publication Types (PTs) and Related Terms:
- Personal Narratives was restored to as a separate Publication Type (PT). [Prior to 2011 MeSH, it was a separate PT. In 2011-2012 MeSH, it was an entry term to PT Autobiography.] During YEP, Cataloging mapped bibliographic records with PT Autobiography to PT Personal Narratives because, in the majority of the cases, this is the term that better reflects the topic of these works.
- Autobiography is still a separate PT, now treed under the PT Personal Narratives. After YEP, Cataloging will manually change the bibliographic records with PT Personal Narratives and "autobiography" in the title to PT Autobiography.
- Personal Narratives as Topic was added to MeSH under Biography as Topic.
- Oral History was added as an entry term to PT Interview and Oral History as Topic was added as entry term to Interviews as Topic.
- New MeSH descriptors Not Used by Catalogers:
RxNorm has the annotation: CATALOG: use NAF entry. Catalogers should use the NAF heading. This means that catalogers should use the form found in the NLM Authority File as a MARC 610 field, rather than the MeSH descriptor in the MARC 650 field.
Additional Database Changes
A summary of the DTD and XML changes for the NLMCatalogRecordSet DTD and CatfilePlus and Serfile XML for 2013 is available.