Category : Various Text files
Archive   : NLM-INFO.ZIP
Filename : MESH.TXT

Output of file : MESH.TXT contained in archive : NLM-INFO.ZIP
National Library of Medicine


The Thesaurus

MeSH is the National Library of Medicine's controlled vocabulary
thesaurus. Thesauri are carefully constructed sets of terms
often connected by "broader-than," narrower-than," and
"related" links. Synonyms for the term thesaurus are
"classification structure," "controlled vocabulary," and
"ordering system." A well-constructed thesaurus links
related terms and provides a hierarchical structure that
permits generic searches to be conducted.

MeSH consists of a set of terms or subject headings arranged
in both an alphabetic and a hierarchical structure. At the
most general level of the hierarchical structure, headings
include, for example, "anatomical terms," "diseases," and
"chemicals and drugs." At the more detailed level are names
of specific neoplastic, immunologic, and viral diseases.
There are more than 16,000 main headings in the primary
structure of MeSH. In addition to these main headings,
there are an additional 59,000 headings within a special
chemical thesaurus. Thousands of cross-references assist
the user in finding the appropriate MeSH heading.

MeSH Applications

* The quality of an information retrieval system is
determined in large part by the effectiveness of the selection
and assignment of thesaurus terms to documents represented in
the system so that searchers may easily retrieve pertinent
documents. MeSH, one of the world's preeminent controlled
vocabularies, is a vital part of the Library's computer-based
Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System (MEDLARS_).

* The MeSH thesaurus is used by NLM for indexing articles
from more than 3,900 of the world's leading biomedical
journals and for cataloging books, documents, and audiovisuals
acquired by the Library. Each bibliographic reference to a
document is associated with a set of MeSH terms that describe
the con-tent of the document. A retrieval query can also be
represented by a set of MeSH terms.

* MeSH is the source of the subject headings for NLM's Index
Medicus_ and is fundamental to the organization of this
monthly subject/author guide to articles in nearly 3,000

Establishing and Updating MeSH

The staff of the Medical Subject Headings Section are
continually revising and updating the MeSH vocabulary.
Subject specialists are responsible for areas of the health
sciences in which they have knowledge and experience. In
addition to receiving suggestions from indexers and others,
the specialists collect new terms as they appear in the
scientific literature or in emerging areas of research, define
them, establish their relationships with other terms in the
vocabulary, and recommend their addition to MeSH. A term is
either accepted or rejected as a usable concept after the
recommendation has been reviewed and commented upon by senior
indexers, searchers, catalogers, and reference staff. The
MeSH staff frequently discuss terminology with scientists
working in the biomedical disciplines who provide the
additional specialized knowledge required to keep the
vocabulary current with progress being made in science.

MeSH Publications

MeSH, in machine-readable form, is provided free to those who
license MEDLINE_ and is also available separately. It is also
published in several printed forms. The headings used in
Index Medicus are published in January as a supplement to
Index Medicus and are included in Cumulated Index Medicus.
These headings appear both alphabetically and hierarchically
ordered in the two publications. More exhaustive descriptions
of MeSH can be obtained from:

1. MeSH - Annotated Alphabetic List,
2. MeSH - Tree Structures,
3. Permuted MeSH, and
4. MeSH - Supplementary Chemical Records.

In the Annotated Alphabetic List, many headings are
accompanied by notes for indexers, catalogers, and searchers,
as well as historical information for assistance in searching
the earlier online files. The MeSH Tree Structures presents
the hierarchical ordering of MeSH. The Permuted MeSH consists
of a listing of each significant word or root that appears in
any MeSH heading. The MeSH Supplementary Chemical Records
contains records of about 22,000 chemicals which have proved
to be significant in journals indexed in MEDLINE. The
supplementary chemical terms can be directly used by indexers
and online searchers.

Questions about the Library's MeSH program may be directed to:

Medical Subject Headings
National Library of Medicine
8600 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20894
(301) 496-1495

  3 Responses to “Category : Various Text files
Archive   : NLM-INFO.ZIP
Filename : MESH.TXT

  1. Very nice! Thank you for this wonderful archive. I wonder why I found it only now. Long live the BBS file archives!

  2. This is so awesome! 😀 I’d be cool if you could download an entire archive of this at once, though.

  3. But one thing that puzzles me is the “mtswslnkmcjklsdlsbdmMICROSOFT” string. There is an article about it here. It is definitely worth a read: