PubMed indexes articles using a controlled vocabulary, Medical Subject Headings (MeSH®). A specific set of terms is assigned to describe each article. This provides consistency and uniformity so all articles about a certain subject will be retrieved, even if different terms for the concept are used in the article, like myocardial infarction and heart attack.
MeSH terms are arranged in a hierarchical categorized manner called "MeSH Tree Structures" and are updated annually.
Familiarity with this vocabulary will make you a better PubMed searcher. You can find MeSH terms and search PubMed with them using the MeSH Database. Learn how by viewing the videos below.
Librarians at Lister Hill Library have created these videos on Searching with MeSH terms for classes and programs at UAB. Click on the links to view the videos. They should open in a new window, so you can return to this Guide.
Health Services Administration
Demonstrates features of the MeSH database that can be used to create a more targeted subject search.