HSLI Newsletter

Serving Illinois Health Information Professionals

MeSH Terminology Changes for 2016

The National Library of Medicine has announced its annual updates to the MeSH terminology system. (MeSH is a controlled-vocabulary thesaurus that is used to index articles in the MEDLINE/PubMed database, and to catalog materials in the NLM’s collection.) The annual review is part of an ongoing effort to make the NLM’s databases more accessible and “user-friendly”. This year’s changes include 438 new descriptors, 17 descriptor terms that have been replaced with more-current wording, nine descriptors that were removed completely, and one qualifier, or subheading, that was also removed. The changes bring the total number of descriptors to nearly 28,000, the overall number of descriptor entry terms to just over 87,000, the number of qualifiers to 82, and the total supplementary concept records to almost 231,000. Other changes include adding three publication types for catalogers (blogs, graphic novels, and public service announcements) and the removal of “uncle” and “nephew” headings, reducing redundant headings in the MeSH tree and making NLM databases easier to search.

For more information on these changes, go here.

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