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Health Sciences Literature Searching: Refining MeSh Search

A guide to help you search the Health Sciences literature

Jump to:

Use the following links to jump to a chosen topic to refine your MeSH search:

Subheadings

      Major Topic

Term Trees

MAIN IDEA

Subheadings narrow the use of a MeSH term by specifying the topics included in a search.

Major Topic limits the number of results by selecting articles that list a particular subheading as its main topic.

What are subheadings and how do I use them?

After the MeSH term's definition are its Subheadings:  related topics or influencing factors.

 

Click the box next to the Subheading and "Add to Search Builder" to include it.

Click "Search PubMed" to finish.

What is a Major Topic?

Major Topic is a Subheading limiter. Clicking the box next to "Restrict to MeSH Major Topic" excludes all articles that do not list a subheading as its main topic, shrinking your search.

Click "Add to Search Builder" and "Search PubMed" to finish.

NOTE

To undo adding a subheading click the text box and delete the text in the PubMed Search Builder.

MAIN IDEA

A term tree lists MeSH terms that are related to each other. Broader terms contain narrower terms.

What are term trees and how do I use them?

MeSH term trees are shown at the bottom of the page and shows terms for topics that are broader or narrower than the one you chose. If a term is specific, then it retrieves fewer articles. If it is broad, it retrieves more articles.

 

For example, "Pregnancy" is narrower than "Reproduction" but broader than "Pregnancy in Adolescence".

 

If you decide to research a broader topic, such as general reproduction, click the name of the subheading ("Reproduction") and click "Add to Search Builder" and "Search PubMed" to finish.

 

If you decide to research a narrower topic, click the name of the subheading that is indented further ("Pregnancy in Adolescence") and click "Add to Search Builder" and "Search PubMed" to finish.

NOTE

To undo adding a subheading click the text box and delete the text in the PubMed Search Builder.

Subject Guide

David Nolfi's picture
David Nolfi
Contact:
412.396.4931

Confused?

If you're confused about using PubMed, look for the "Help" link for more information.

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