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PubMed Guide: MeSH search

MeSH terms

MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) is a controlled vocabulary thesaurus of subject terms, which you can use in your search.

In MeSH search:

  • MeSH terms cover possible synonyms, so you don't need to search the synonyms separately
  • you can add subheadings (viewpoints) to MeSH terms
  • you can emphasize MeSH terms
  • if MeSH term has narrower terms in MeSH hierarchy, they are included in search automatically (Explode-function)

MeSH search

1. Enter MeSH Database
2. Search for each MeSH term separately. Choose appropriate MeSH term from the list.
3. You can focus your search by adding subheading(s) to the MeSH term, if they are relevant for your subject. If none is chosen, all subheadings are included. 
4. MeSH search includes synonyms / alternative search terms shown in Entry Terms.
You can choose these functions if they are necessary: 
  • Restrict to MeSH Major Topic emphasizes the MeSH term.
  • Do not include MeSH-terms found below this term in the MeSH hierarchy excludes the narrower terms.
5. Click Add to search builder. You can search more MeSH terms and add them to Search builder. Combine the MeSH terms with appropriate operators (AND, OR, NOT). Launch search by clicking Search PubMed.