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MeSH Update. A presentation for the Authority Control Interest Group ALA Midwinter Meeting, Boston, Mass. January 17, 2010 Diane Boehr Head of Cataloging, National Library of Medicine, NIH, DHHS [email protected] Introduction. MeSH: Medical Subject Headings

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Mesh update l.jpg

MeSH Update

A presentation for the Authority Control Interest Group

ALA Midwinter Meeting, Boston, Mass.

January 17, 2010

Diane Boehr

Head of Cataloging,

National Library of Medicine, NIH, DHHS

[email protected]

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  • MeSH: Medical Subject Headings

    • A thesaurus of medical terminology developed and maintained by the National Library of Medicine

    • Descriptors are arranged both alphabetically and hierarchically (trees)

    • Used at NLM for indexing in medical journals in MEDLINE/PubMed and for cataloging of books, serials, AVs, etc.

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MeSH Record Types

  • Descriptors (Main Headings)

    • Categories A-N of the MeSH trees

  • Publication Characteristics (Publication Types)

    • Category V of MeSH tree

  • Geographics

    • Category Z of the MeSH tree

  • Qualifiers (subheadings)

  • All updated on an annual basis

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MeSH Record Types

  • Supplementary Concept Records (formerly Supplementary Chemical Records)

    • Used by indexing for specific substance names, such as chemicals and drugs

    • Not used in cataloging

    • No tree numbers—each is mapped to one or more Descriptors

    • Updated weekly

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  • Available as an online tool through the MeSH browser

  • Also available for downloading

    • XML format (weekly)

    • ASCII format (weekly)

    • MARC 21 format (monthly)

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MeSH Statistics

  • Contains 25,588 Descriptors and over 160,000 entry terms

  • 83 Qualifiers

  • 186,686 Supplementary Concept Records (SCRs)

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MeSH-MARC files

  • Descriptor terms: 150 field

  • Geographic terms: 151 field

  • Publication characteristics: 155 field

  • Subheadings: 180 field, but MeSH-MARC records are also created for every valid head/subheading combination: 150 $a $x

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Faceted Subject Analysis

  • The MARC structure of the distributed records reflects the way NLM applies the subject headings in its catalog

  • NLM does not use the full 650 subject strings permitted in MARC

    • Instead of 650 $z, NLM uses 651

    • Instead of 650 $v, NLM uses 655

    • NLM uses 650 $x only for topical subheadings

      • Main descriptors are used for temporal information

      • Language information is in 008 and 041 only

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Faceted Subject Analysis

  • Adopted in 1998 when the library implemented the Voyager ILS

  • Followed indexing practice

    • Allowed for better retrieval in a federated search of NLM databases

  • Better semantic interoperability in the online environment

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Distribution of Bibliographic Records

  • In its distribution of MARC bib records, NLM programmatically reattaches the 651 and 655 fields as $z and $v respectively to the 650 fields in the records

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  • In LocatorPlus database

    • 650 12 $a Health Maintenance Organizations $x history

    • 650 22 $a History, 20th Century

    • 651 2 $a United States

    • 655 2 $a Interview

    • 655 2 $a Personal Narratives

  • MARC distributed record

    • 650 12 $a Health Maintenance Organizations $x history $z United States $v Interview

    • 650 12 $a Health Maintenance Organizations $x history $z United States $v Personal Narratives

    • 650 22 $a History, 20th Century $z United States $v Interview

    • 650 22 $a History, 20th Century $z United States $v Personal Narratives

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  • In LocatorPlus

    • 650 12 $a Drug Interactions

    • 650 12 $a Pharmacokinetics

    • 650 12 $a Pregnancy $9n

    • 650 22 $a Breast Feeding $9n

    • 655 2 $a Handbooks

  • MARC 21 distribution

    • 650 12 $a Drug Interactions $v Handbooks

    • 650 12 $a Pharmacokinetics $v Handbooks

    • 650 12 $a Pregnancy

    • 650 22 $a Breast Feeding

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Overview of 2010 MeSH Changes

  • Added 422 Descriptors

  • 52 Descriptor terms replaced with more up-to-date/accurate terminology

  • 20 Descriptors were deleted

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Further Information

  • For complete instructions on how to create a subject string from a LocatorPlus record:

  • For complete instructions on how to create a faceted subject display from an OCLC record:

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Major Tree Revisions

  • Category B (Organisms Tree) was reorganized in a major fashion to reflect current thinking

    • 20th century classification emphasized modes of nutrition and locomotion

    • 21st century classification is based on ultrastructure, biochemistry and genetics

    • Protozoa was deleted as an outmoded phylogenetic concept

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Major Tree Revisions

  • Organisms formerly treed under Protozoa are now chiefly treed under Eukaryota and are no longer treed under Animals

  • However, terms such as Protozoan Infections, Protozoan Genes, and Protozoan Proteins were retained

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Rare Diseases

  • Collaborative effort between NLM and the NIH Office of Rare Diseases and Research (ORDR) to merge the list of rare disease terms maintained by ORDR into the MeSH vocabulary

  • 10,379 terms have been reviewed

    • 440 identified as already in MeSH

    • 274 were added in 2010

    • 372 will be added in 2011

    • The rest will become a new category of Supplementary Concept records in 2011

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2010 Changes

  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype was adjusted

    • Entry terms added for H1N1 Virus and Swine-Origin Influenza A H1N1 Virus

    • No entry term for "swine-flu" because of the ambiguity of this term

  • Catalogers and indexers coordinate this with Influenza, Human as needed

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Annual Updating at NLM

  • Both the PubMed/Medline and LocatorPlus/NLM Catalog files are updated annually after the new MeSH files are issued

  • Descriptors in existing records are changed to reflect the new vocabulary, but reindexing does not occur

  • In some cases, when a concept has split into 2 new headings we may need to do special processing or manual examination of records to assign the new headings correctly

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Local Catalog Decisions

  • All bib records that have been changed are redistributed to our subscribers, including OCLC—so a library may get these changes if they subscribe to an updating service

  • Locally created records in your catalog will not automatically get updated, nor will OCLC records using MeSH created by other libraries

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Annual Updating

  • Indexing uses the MeSH Identifier number to find and replace records for year end processing

  • Library catalogs generally do not carry the MeSH identifier in bibliographic records, so we must rely on the character strings to identify needed changes

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Updating Voyager

  • Each year Cataloging takes the list of changed and deleted headings supplied by MeSH and loads them into our test Voyager database

  • This generates a global queue change list of old and new headings and the number of bib records impacted for each heading. Replaced headings with no associated bib records are ignored

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Updating Voyager

  • We create Excel spreadsheets from the global change list which are then manually reviewed to make sure the old and new headings are correct

  • Because Voyager ignores punctuation, when the only change to the heading is in punctuation, we must find these manually

    • E.g. Biofeedback (Psychology) changes to Biofeedback, Psychology

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Updating Voyager

  • The case of "as Topic headings“

    • Portraits vs. Portraits as Topic

    • Bibliography vs. Bibliography as Topic

  • Do you add “as Topic” to all your 650’s or do you flip your 650’s to 655?

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Expected future directions for 2011-12

  • More work on rare diseases

  • Examination of disaster headings

  • In 2012 the 5th ed. of the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-V) will be released

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  • Thanks to Jacque-Lynn Schulman, Senior Technical Information Specialist, MeSH Section and Sharon Willis, Senior Cataloging Specialist, Cataloging Section for their assistance in preparing this presentation