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About using MeSH to search for statistics

  • The terms listed below link to the MeSH® Database. You will find scope notes, available subheadings, history of the term, synonyms, and broader or narrower terms in MeSH hierarchy.

  • You can also use the MeSH Browser to identify appropriate MeSH Terms.

  • Use the PubMed Search Builder in the MeSH Database to build a search strategy, then click Search to send the search terms to PubMed®.

  • Available subheadings, also called qualifiers, are listed for each MeSH term in the MeSH Database and MeSH Browser. Subheadings are specific to each MeSH term because some subheadings are not appropriate for a given term.

  • When you enter a search in PubMed, qualify search terms as MeSH terms using [MeSH] or [mh] after the term. Qualify subheadings using [subheading] or [sh]. Qualify publication types using [Publication Type] or [pt].

  • PubMed automatically searches the broad term and all the more specific terms under it. This is often called "automatic explosion" of the term. To search only a specific heading, check "Do not include MeSH terms found below this term in the MeSH hierarchy" before sending the term to the PubMed Search Builder in the MeSH Database. When entering terms directly in the PubMed search box, you can turn off the automatic explosion feature by using the tag [mh:noexp] or subheading with [sh:noexp] after the term.

  • Add a subheading to a term using a slash mark after the subheading. Two-letter abbreviations for the subheadings can be found in the MeSH Browser. Examples: malaria/epidemiology ; malaria/ep

  • Learn more about using MeSH:
  • Learn more about using PubMed through resources on the PubMed® Online Training page.
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