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Cataloging and Metadata Management: Using Medical Subject Headings (MeSH®) in Cataloging

Advantages of Controlled Vocabulary over Keywords

  • Keywords
    • Provides access to terms actually used by the author
  • Controlled vocabulary
    • Does not require the user to think of every possible synonym for a concept
    • Allows searching of works in different languages
    • Provides proper context for keywords with multiple meanings
  • Keyword searching can be a good place for a user to start and identify some relevant works
  • Controlled vocabulary in the records will allow the user to identify many more works on this subject, that may use other terminology or be written in other languages
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