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EXS290 Research Guide

This guide was created for students taking EXS290

Searching PubMed

The following video provides an overview of searching PubMed, Identifying MeSH terms, and finding full text articles:

MeSH (Medical Subject Headings)

MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) is the official list of subject headings or "controlled vocabulary" published by the National Library of Medicine. MeSH concepts and terms focus on biomedical topics and are updated and revised annually reflecting the introduction of new terminology and headings into the MeSH database. 

There are 4 types of MeSH terms:

  1. Headings - high level, general subject terms such as "anatomy" or "mental disorders"
  2. Subheadings (also referred to as qualifiers) - subject terms that fall under Headings that more specifically describe/narrow the heading such as "shoulder" or "bipolar disorder".
  3. Publication types - helps you identify which type of study you are searching for including case reports, meta-analysis and review.
  4. Supplementary Concept Records (SCOs) - these are not full MeSH Headings and do not fall under the MeSH tree hierarchy. Many times they are used to identify substances that are not included in the MeSH terms.

For more information on MeSH, click here.

Databases that use MeSH Headings include:

Medline - accessible through MCC's eResources requiring an MEID and Password (also included within PubMed)

PubMed - freely accessible via the open web

MeSH Tree

The following diagram shows the 16 categories of the MeSH tree with the category 'Anatomy' exploded to visually show the subheadings (branches) under the term:

Search the MeSH Database to identify MeSH terms.