MeSH on the Web
[This link was removed because it is no longer valid] 1998 NLM Pricing Algorithm Chart
MeSH on the Web
1998 MeSH files are available for download from the MeSH Web site at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/mesh/meshhome.html.
The following formatted versions of the entire 1998 MeSH vocabulary are currently available:
1998 MeSH Trees in ASCII Format
MeSH in MARC Format
1998 MeSH in ASCII Format
*NEWRECORD RECTYPE = D MH = Gene Library PRINT ENTRY = DNA Library:T028:ACX:EQV:NLM (1998):961031:abcdef PRINT ENTRY = Gene Bank:T028:NON:EQV:NLM (1990):890221:abcdef ENTRY = Bank, Gene ENTRY = Banks, Gene ENTRY = DNA Libraries ENTRY = Gene Banks ENTRY = Gene Libraries ENTRY = Libraries, DNA ENTRY = Libraries, Gene ENTRY = Library, DNA ENTRY = Library, Gene MN = G05.275.195 MN = G05.331.599.110.410 FX = DNA, Recombinant MH_TH = NLM (1990) ST = T028 AN = do not confuse with GENOMIC LIBRARY; do not confuse X ref GENE BANK with BIOLOGICAL SPECIMEN BANKS; no qualif PI = Base Sequence (78-89) PI = Cloning, Molecular (80-89) PI = Plasmids (78-85) MS = A large collection of cloned DNA fragments from a given organism, tissue, organ, or cell type. It may contain complete genomic sequences (GENOMIC LIBRARY) or complementary DNA sequences, the latter being formed from messenger RNA and lacking intron sequences. PM = 90 HN = 90 MED = 2295 MED = *224 M90 = 3520 M90 = *357 M85 = 253 M85 = *33 M80 = 1 CATSH = CAT LIST DA = 890515 RO = O:PXP RO = A:SJN RO = M:AGS MR = 970620 DC = 1 DX = 900101 UI = D015723
ASCII MeSH contains all data that are present in ELHILL MeSH, including cross-references and scope notes. Online descriptions of the data elements in each file are available for each of the three record types: Descriptor Data Elements, Qualifier (subheadings) Data Elements, and Supplementary Chemical Record Data Elements. Publication Types (PT) are encoded as MeSH Descriptors even though they appear in the PT field and not the MH field in the MEDLINE citations.
Restrictions on Use
There is no charge for downloading MeSH data from the NLM Web site. However, use of the ASCII MeSH file data is subject to conditions which are detailed in the memorandum of understanding that must be completed before downloading data.
The data for Descriptors and Qualifiers are updated annually and users of the data are encouraged to obtain the new year's data.
Supplementary Chemical Records are updated in ELHILL MeSH on a daily basis and the current file in ASCII MeSH is complete through September 1, 1997. The Supplementary Chemical Records will be added to ASCII MeSH periodically. The data elements that require a descriptor MeSH heading value, such as the Heading Mapped-To (HM) element, have been updated to match a descriptor in 1998 MeSH.
MeSH Descriptors and Qualifiers are also published annually in print as the Medical Subject Headings, Annotated Alphabetic List. Some Descriptor data are also published in Medical Subject Headings, Tree Structures and Permuted Medical Subject Headings.
Each MeSH record is indicated by a separate line, preceding the record, consisting of the string: *NEWRECORD. (See Figure 1 on this page.) Each element or occurrence is contained on a single line. Each line contains an element name and value, for example, MH = Appendicitis. The same is true for longer, free-text fields such the Annotation and Scope Note. (The longest occurrence/line in the 1998 files is in the descriptor file and is 1160 characters.)
For data elements that are multiply-occurring, each element occurs on a separate line, for example, the MeSH Tree Number:
Generally, data in ASCII MeSH files are in 7-bit ASCII format. The only exception is that in 41 descriptor records, the Annotation element contains one or more diacritical characters. No attempt was made to translate these characters so they may appear differently in different displays.
The file extensions are .bin rather than .txt so that Web browsers will prompt to save rather than automatically trying to display the relatively large text files (up to 36MB). The binary download should have no adverse effects for most users. The lines will usually be transmitted with only a line feed character (decimal 10) and not also a carriage return (decimal 13). Please contact the MeSH Section at the address given in Questions and Assistance at the end of this article if you have questions.
Numbers of Records in the 1998 MeSH
The number of records in the file for the three record types are shown below.
Record Type Total Records Descriptors (MeSH headings, including Publication Types) 18,934 Qualifiers (subheadings) 787 Supplementary Chemical Records *95,617 * through September 1, 1997
Additional 1998 MeSH Files Available
1998. Pharmacologic Actions of a given drug
1998. Drugs with a given Pharmacologic Action
1998 New Headings with Scope Notes
Amino Acid Substitution
1998 Replaced Headings
Questions and Assistance
For questions concerning the content of ASCII MeSH, contact:
For questions concerning distribution, format, etc., contact:
For further information about leased databases from the National Library of Medicine contact: