MeSH turns 50

Todd Vandenbark

National Network of Libraries of Medicine logo

As noted on the MCR News blog, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) is marking the 50th anniversary of the creation of MeSH. What is it?

“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” (From the NLM website).

How is it used?

“The MeSH thesaurus is used by NLM for indexing articles from 5,400 of the world’s leading biomedical journals for the MEDLINE/PubMED® database. It is also used for the NLM-produced database that includes cataloging of books, documents, and audiovisuals acquired by the Library. Each bibliographic reference is associated with a set of MeSH terms that describe the content of the item. Similarly, search queries use MeSH vocabulary to find items on a desired topic (Also from the NLM website).”

On Thursday, November 18, 2010, at 2:00 pm Eastern (12:00 pm Mountain) time the NLM will be presenting a videocast (with captioning) by Robert Braude, PhD, on “The impact of the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) vocabulary on access to biomedical information.”