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National Library of Medicine Technical BulletinNational Library of Medicine Technical Bulletin

Table of Contents: 2016 NOVEMBER–DECEMBER No. 413

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What's New for 2017 MeSH

Schulman J. What's New for 2017 MeSH. NLM Tech Bull. 2016 Sep-Oct;(412):e6.

2016 December 09 [posted]

MeSH is the National Library of Medicine (NLM) controlled vocabulary thesaurus which is updated annually. NLM uses the MeSH thesaurus to index articles from thousands of biomedical journals for the MEDLINE/PubMed database and for the cataloging of books, documents, and audiovisuals acquired by the Library.

Overview of Vocabulary Development and Changes for 2017 MeSH

  • 627 Descriptors added
  • 35 Descriptors replaced with more up-to-date terminology
  • 42 Descriptors deleted
  • 3 Qualifiers deleted
  • 1 Qualifier added

Totals by Type of Terminology

  • 28,472 Descriptors
  • 80 Qualifiers
  • 115,845 Total Descriptor Terms

MeSH Vocabulary Development

MeSH Protein Project
New protein classes have been added to MeSH as part of an ongoing project to update and align MeSH protein classes with the gene families described by the Human Genome Nomenclature Committee (HGNC). A second part of the project involves creating organism-specific protein Supplemental Concept Records (SCRs) for model organism species. The process for creating descriptors included the promotion SCRs to descriptors and creating new organism-specific protein SCRs that use the new descriptors as their Heading Mapped-To values. In addition Year-end processing tasks were used to populate existing citations with the new organism-specific protein SCRs.

Protein Editing Work
Number of SCRs Promoted to Descriptors 70
Number of New Descriptor Protein classes 219
Number of New Protein SCRs created 339
Number of Year Processing tasks 281

2017 G tree changes
G tree "Processes" descriptors were merged with the "Phenomena" descriptors as narrower sub-concepts, except for those that did not have a corresponding "Phenomena" descriptor to merge into. For example, the descriptor Biochemical Processes was merged with Biochemical Phenomena. And all the child descriptors of Processes became the children of Phenomena. This was done to simplify the trees and to discontinue distinguishing what is a process and what is a phenomena but with the understanding that processes are a type of or part of phenomena.

Dietary Supplements
MeSH added all valid terms and concepts, not already in MeSH, from the PubMed Dietary Supplement literature subset search strategy developed jointly by NLM and the Office of Dietary Supplements at the National Institutes of Health.

New J Tree
New tree top J03 (Non-Medical Public and Private Facilities) was created in the MeSH vocabulary and populated with current descriptors from other trees and several new categories of public facilities

New MeSH Browser
In cooperation with the NLM Office of Computer and Communications Systems (OCCS), Library Operations staff refined the design and tested the beta version of the New MeSH Browser which was released to the public on September 14, 2016. This new browser replaced the original MeSH Browser on November 16, 2016.

MeSH Qualifier Changes
Three qualifiers radiography, radionuclide imaging, and ultrasonography were replaced by a new qualifier diagnostic imaging.

Chemical Editing Project to Update UNIIs and EC Numbers

We have an ongoing project to update MeSH chemicals with UNII (Unique Ingredient Identifier) numbers from the FDA SRS system. Additions and changes were made to UNIIs in over 1,500 of the top posting Supplementary Concept Records. This brings the total number of UNIIs in MeSH to 14,853.

Another project reviewed and updated Enzyme Commission (EC) numbers for enzymes in MeSH. When the Commission changes a number, we follow their recommendation and do the same in MeSH. There were 1,200 such changes in 2017 MeSH.

By Jacque-Lynne Schulman
MeSH Section

NLM Technical Bulletin National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health