Monday, March 14, 2005

Finding the right Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) using PubMed

A colleague said to me, after reading the last post, “What about in PubMed?”

The same holds true for PubMed and here’s how to do it.

As you’re looking through the titles of your search results, pick one that seems the closest match to what you’re looking for. Then, click on the list of authors link to display the ‘abstract’ format of the reference. Notice that on the ‘Display’ line that ‘abstract’ now appears. Click on the drop-down and select ‘citation’. This is the display format where the MeSH terms appear.

Another way to do this from the Summary page is to check the box next to the pertinent title, click on the drop-down and select ‘citation’.

Sometimes there aren’t any MeSH terms. What’s up with that?

This usually happens when the citation is really recent or it’s a citation supplied by a publisher and you can tell by simply looking at the end of the citation on the PubMed Summary page.

If you see [PubMed - in process] then the record will only have basic citation information and abstracts until the citations are indexed with NLM's MeSH Terms and added to MEDLINE.

If you see [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] then the MeSH terms, publication types, GenBank Accession numbers, and other indexing data have been added to the record.

If you see [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] then these citations were received electronically from publishers. Most of these progress to "in-process" status and later to "indexed for MEDLINE" status. However, not all citations will be indexed for MEDLINE and therefore will retain either the tag [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] or [PubMed].

So, now give this a try in PubMed!


At 12:44 PM, Anonymous Rick Zwies said...

Jan, this is great! I learned something! Thanks!


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