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National Library of Medicine Technical BulletinNational Library of Medicine Technical Bulletin

Table of Contents: 2017 NOVEMBER–DECEMBER No. 419

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What's New for 2018 MeSH

What's New for 2017 MeSH. NLM Tech Bull. 2017 Nov-Dec;(419):e8.

2017 November 30 [posted]

MeSH is the National Library of Medicine (NLM) controlled vocabulary thesaurus that 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 2018 MeSH

Totals by Type of Terminology

  • 28,939 MeSH Descriptors
  • 79 Qualifiers
  • 116,909 Total Descriptor Terms
  • 244,154 Supplementary Concept Records

Changes of Note for 2018

The following changes are detailed in MEDLINE Data Changes—2018.


  1. The MeSH qualifier (subheading) /contraindications was deleted.

  2. Three new Publication Types are available for 2018:
    • Adaptive Clinical Trial
    • Equivalence Trial

      Note three new related MeSH headings:
      • Adaptive Clinical Trials as Topic
      • Equivalence Trials as Topic
      • Proof of Concept
    • Expression of Concern

  3. Expanded and updated terminology areas:
    • Isotopes and Radioisotopes
    • Smoking
    • Sugars
    • Virus terminology and new Supplementary Concept Record (SCR) class for Organisms

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