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


  • Once you have found appropriate descriptors, read the MeSH annotations carefully to be sure you are using the term correctly (cf. Module 2—Introduction to MeSH and MeSH Browser)
  • There are some annotations on topical headings specifically relevant to catalogers:
    • Used for searching: indexers and catalogers apply specifics
      • Catalogers may not use these headings
    • Used for searching: indexers apply specifics; may be used by catalogers
      • Catalogers may use these headings
  • Other relevant annotations:
    • GEN: avoid: prefer specifics
    • Avoid: too general; prefer specifics
      • Catalogers are not prohibited from using these headings, but should consider if there is a more specific term that could be used