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Table of Contents: 2022 NOVEMBER–DECEMBER No. 449

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MEDLINE and MeSH Data Changes — 2023

MEDLINE and MeSH Data Changes — 2023. NLM Tech Bull. 2022 Nov-Dec;(449):e6.

2022 December 12 [posted]

This article collects the notable data changes made to MEDLINE during the National Library of Medicine (NLM) annual maintenance known as Year-End Processing (YEP) for 2023:

  • MeSH Vocabulary Updated for 2023
  • MeSH Update Reports
  • Special MeSH Projects
  • Updated MeSH in MEDLINE Citations

MeSH Vocabulary Updated for 2023

The MeSH Browser points to the 2023 MeSH vocabulary with a link to the 2022 MeSH vocabulary. On December 2, the default switched to 2023 and the alternate link has been routed to 2022 MeSH. Searchers should consult the Browser to find MeSH headings of interest and their relationships to other headings. The Browser contains MeSH heading records that may include Scope Notes, Annotations, Entry Terms, History Notes, Allowable Qualifiers (Subheadings), Previous Indexing, and other information. It also includes Subheading records and Supplementary Concept Records (SCRs) for substances, diseases, and organisms that are not MeSH headings.

You can download 2023 MeSH from links on the NLM Data Distribution page for MeSH Data.

The PubMed MeSH database and translation tables will be updated to reflect 2023 MeSH by the middle of December when YEP activities are complete and the newly maintained MEDLINE data are available in PubMed.

MeSH Update Reports

MeSH 2023 Update

Beginning with the release of 2023 MeSH, NLM now offers reports detailing the changes to the MeSH vocabulary. The nine MeSH 2023 Update reports detail the changes to MeSH terms that are performed during YEP. The MeSH 2023 Update allows users to view changes made to the MeSH vocabulary in various formats (CSV, PDF, HTML) as well as providing exportable reports (CSV, JSON, RDF, and XML). These include detailed reports regarding:

Note: Typically, NLM does not retroactively re-index MEDLINE citations with new MeSH heading concepts. Therefore, searching PubMed for a new MeSH term tagged with [mh] or [majr] effectively limits retrieval to citations indexed after the term was introduced. Searchers may consult the MeSH database to see the previous indexing terms most likely used for a particular concept before the new MeSH heading was introduced. For terms without previous indexing information, consider the next broader term(s) in the MeSH hierarchy. For more searching guidance, see the on-demand class MeSH Changes and PubMed Searching.

Special MeSH Projects

Several special projects resulted in the following new 2023 MeSH headings:

New and Updated Population Group Headings

Working with partners across NIH led by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), MeSH 2023 added Federally recognized American Indian and Alaskan Native tribal names and ethnic and ethnolinguistic minority terms as newly created SCR type 5 designated as "Population Groups." These minority and tribal names (1,700+ terms) were mapped and reviewed by subject matter experts and scientists from within NIH and outside including contributions from Network of the National Library of Medicine members.

New and Updated Social Determinants of Health Headings

As a part of ongoing research and study, MeSH added new descriptors and updated concepts as they relate to Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) with help from the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research and other NIH Institutes and Centers.

Updated MeSH in MEDLINE Citations

MEDLINE citations with updated MeSH are anticipated to be in PubMed by mid-December 2022. For instruction on how to adjust historical searches to changes in MeSH, see the on-demand class MeSH Changes and PubMed Searching.

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