MEDLINE is produced by the National Library of Medicine and is the premiere biomedical database.
MeSH is the National Library of Medicine's controlled vocabulary thesaurus. It consists of sets of terms naming descriptors in a hierarchical structure that permits searching at various levels of specificity. An advantage of controlled vocabularies, like MeSH, is that a single term has been used to represent a particular concept no matter how it was referred to in the original article.
** Note: Publication Type [PT] is always singular (Practice Guideline) while MeSH terms are always plural (Practice Guidelines). [PT] indicates the report in the article is a Practice Guideline. An article which has been indexed with the MeSH term Practice Guidelines is an article about this methodology or process. Some searchers, in order to be as comprehensive as possible, will use the strategy: Practice Guideline [PT] OR Practice Guidelines [MeSH].
MeSH tutorials are available from the MeSH web page at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/mesh.
These sample MEDLINE searches will give you practice using MeSH, applying clinical filters, and putting limits on your search retrieval. Be aware that different MEDLINE search systems have unique functions and commands.
|#1 Otitis Media[MeSH]||Explode the MeSH term Otitis Media to include all types. (PubMed explodes automatically).|
|Drug Therapy [sh]||Add the subheading Drug Therapy to focus in on this specific aspect of the subject.|
|#2 Anti-Bacterial Agents [MeSH]||Explode the MeSH term Anti-Bacterial Agents.|
|#1 AND #2||Combine terms with AND to retrieve articles dealing with both subjects. (We found over 1,500.)|
|Randomized Controlled Trial [pt]||Using the Limits feature select Randomized Controlled Trial as the Type of Article for clinically relevant studies.|
|All Child: 0-18 years||Limit the search to the specific age group concerned.|
|English||Limit the search to English if you wish to eliminate foreign language articles. (We now have about 90 citations in our results list.)|
|Clinical Queries||Copy your search into PubMed's Clinical Queries feature and see how many systematic Reviews are found. Or simply choose Systematic Reviews from the Subsets in the Limits feature.|
|#1 Alzheimer Disease [majr]||Limit the MeSH term to Major focus.|
|#2 Sensitivity and Specificity [MeSH]||Explode the MeSH term to include more specific terms such as Predictive Value of Tests.|
|#3 Differential Diagnosis [MeSH]||Differential Diagnosis is a useful MeSH term with closely related diseases.|
|#1 AND #2 AND #3||Combine terms with AND.|
|Clinical Trials [PT]||Limit using Clinical Trial as Type of Article.|
|#1 Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic [majr]||Limit the MeSH term to Major Focus.|
|#2 Pregnancy [MeSH] OR Pregnancy Outcome [MeSH]||OR related terms.|
|#3 Cohort Studies [MeSH]||Select Cohort Studies for a Prognosis Search.|
|#4 Prognosis [MeSH]||The MeSH term Prognosis is effective in this search.|
|(#1 AND #2) AND (#3 OR #4)||Combine search history terms with AND and OR. "Nest" combined terms with parentheses.|
|Published in the Last: 3 years||Limit the search to recent articles.|
Are there any evidence based practice guidelines on the use of mammography in screening for breast cancer?
|#1 Breast Neoplasms [majr]||EXPLODE the MeSH term Breast Neoplasms and Limit to Major Focus.|
|#2 Mammography [majr]||EXPLODE the MeSH term Mammography and Limit to Major Focus.|
|#1 AND #2||Combine terms with AND to retrieve articles dealing with both concepts.|
|Practice Guideline[pt] OR Guideline[pt] OR Consensus Development Conference[pt]||Limit the search to these publication types to find published evidence/consensus on this practice.|
|Change Databases and Rerun Search||Check other databases such as The Cochrane Library or the National Guideline Clearinghouse (www.guidelines.gov) to find published guidelines.|
|#1 Pulmonary Embolism [majr]||Limit the MeSH term to Major Focus.|
|etiology [sh] OR epidemiology [sh]||Attach subheadings useful in etiology questions.|
|#2 Hormone Replacement Therapy [MeSH]||Explode Hormone Replacement Therapy, which includes Estrogen Replacement Therapy.|
|#1 AND #2||AND combines these concepts.|
Medical Subject Headings:
Try these techniques for limiting your results:
Try these techniques for increasing your results: