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September 14, 2006 [posted]
January 29, 2007 [Editor's note added]

MeSH® Category V Terms: Change in Treatment from MeSH Heading to Publication Type During Year-End-Processing for Both MEDLINE® and NLM Catalog

w ith the introduction of the 2007 PubMed® system in mid-December, following annual year-end processing, all of the MeSH Category V terms will be identified as Publication Type (PT) values in the MEDLINE citations and the NLM Catalog records. In the past, the following terms were identified as MeSH Headings (MH) on the MEDLINE citations and NLM Catalog records:

  1. The V04 branch of six descriptors of which the five indented terms are used for indexing on journal citations:
    Support of Research [V04]
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't [V04.124]
    Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S. [V04.249]
    Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S. [V04.500]
    Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural [V04.500.500]
    Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural [V04.500.750]
  2. In Vitro [V03.500]
  3. Comparative Study [V03.250]
  4. English Abstract [V01.260]

This change will bring the PubMed journal citation and NLM Catalog records into synchrony with the MeSH authority file data where all Category V concepts are identified as Publication Characteristics. Terms in Category V are not topical descriptors that indicate an article is "about" that concept; rather, these terms indicate that an article "is" or has the publication characteristics of that concept. A citation assigned the concept "Comparative Study" means that the article describes such a study, not that the article discusses the topic of comparative studies. The "Research Support" terms mean that the research described in an article received funding support, not that the article discusses the role of research support. English Abstract merely means that an article, not in English, has an English abstract available either online in the citation or, for some older citations, only in the hard copy journal issue; it does not mean an article discusses an aspect of the usefulness of English abstracts. In Vitro is used when physiologic processes are studied in tissues or organs which have been removed form a higher organism (human, animal, or plant).

PubMed searching will be impacted due to moving these data from the MH field to the PT field. The Limits screen will display these terms under "Type of Article." PubMed searchers who use search tags will need to use [PT] as the search tag for these eight terms. My NCBI saved searches may need to be reviewed when the new system comes up, if they contain any of the eight terms. Searches with terms that have not been tagged will not be affected. [Note: We wish to point out the change in searching for the Research Support terms in PubMed which have received much notice and documentation of late because of the NIH Public Access Policy.]

Look for a future article in the NLM Technical Bulletin on how similar changes will occur in LocatorPlus. [Editor's Note: This article is now available, Jacobs A. Cataloging News 2007. NLM Tech Bull. 2006 Nov-Dec;(353):e4.]

By Sara Tybaert
MEDLARS Management Section

Tybaert S. MeSH® Category V Terms: Change in Treatment from MeSH Heading to Publication Type During Year-End-Processing for Both MEDLINE® and NLM Catalog. NLM Tech Bull. 2006 Sep-Oct;(352):e2.

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