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

Module 2—Introduction to Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)

Accessing MeSH

Catalogers access MeSH records online via the MeSH Browser. For instructions on using the MeSH Browser, see Module 3.

Introduction to MeSH

  • MeSH is the National Library of Medicine's controlled vocabulary thesaurus
  • Consists of a set of terms providing preferred terms (Descriptors), their definitions, equivalent and related terms, and guidance on use of the terms, arranged in a hierarchical structure that permits searching at various levels of specificity
  • Organized hierarchically into 16 trees


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Last Reviewed: May 4, 2017