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Archive for the ‘PubMed’ Category

Yale’s MeSH Analyzer

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

Have you tried Yale’s MeSH Analyzer? It’s a tool that “helps identify the reason why some known relevant articles are missing in a set of search results and serves as a scoping search tool to help identify potential new search terms and phrases.”

About the Yale MeSH Analyzer:

Watch the MeSH Analyzer video to see it in action:

Try the Yale MeSH Analyzer:

PubMed for Librarians is coming up fast! Are you registered?

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017
PubMed for Librarians logo

PubMed for Librarians logo

Here at the NTO we are super excited to kick off the new year with our updated roster of PubMed for Librarians sessions (or PML, as we like to say). PML is designed with the  busy librarian in mind. Each of our six sessions focus on different aspects of PubMed – giving you the option to pick and choose based on your needs.

For example:

The Newly Minted Medical Librarian –  Get the basics about PubMed  in our Intro class on Thursday January 19th.**

The Blossoming Cataloger –  Discover something new about 2017 Medical Subject Headings with the MeSH session on Wednesday, January 25.

The Information Architect – Upgrade your knowledge of  MEDLINE search functionality with Automatic Term Mapping on Wednesday, February 1.

The Know it All – Add to your arsenal of esoteric PubMed trivia and search shortcuts with Building and Refining Your Search on Wednesday, February 8.

The Expert Searcher – Our evidence-based medicine session on Thursday, February 16 discusses how publication types are used to index articles in PubMed.

The Research Support Specialist – Explore the nuances of myNCBI on Thursday, February 23 and become your university researcher’s best friend.

All PMLs start at 1pm ET/Noon CT/11am MT/ 10am PT. PMLs are held online via WebEx and run about 90 minutes per session.  Recordings are also available. And best of all, THEY ARE FREE!

Register at:

PS: Several folks have experienced registration hiccups since we’ve updated the website. Here’s a video and instructions on how to register. Or email us at and we’ll work with you to get it working.

**Also recommended for the Accidental PubMed Instructor, the Overachieving Library Student, and the Bored and Burnt-out Reference Librarian.

MeSH 2017 and Saved Searches

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

Do you have a search saved in PubMed? It may need to be updated because of changes in MeSH terminology. Here are the steps you can take to make sure your search is connecting to the current vocabulary:

First, check to see if your MeSH terms have changed:

  • If your term was deleted and replaced with a new term that retained the same meaning, then your old search should work, but you may still want to update your search strategy. For example, Urinary Tract Physiological Processes was deleted as a MeSH term and replaced with Urinary Tract Physiological Phenomena. The previous term was retained as an Entry Term that will map to the current MeSH term.

Next, follow these instructions to update your saved search within your My NCBI account:

PubMed for Librarians 2017 – registration is open

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

PML_slide_imageRegistration is now open for the next round of our highly popular PubMed For Librarians series.

The PubMed for Librarians class is divided into six segments (90 minutes each). Each segment is a synchronous online session that includes hands-on exercises and is worth 1.5 hours of MLA CE credit. Participants can choose any or all of the 6 segments that interest them.

The segments are as follows:

Introduction to PubMed: Learn about the difference between PubMed and MEDLINE, how to run a PubMed search, assess your search retrieval, analyze search details, employ three ways to search for a known citation, and how to customize with My NCBI.

MeSH (Medical Subject Headings): Learn about the NLM Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) database. Explore the four different types of MeSH terms and how searchers can benefit from using MeSH to build a search. Investigate the structure of the MeSH database and look at the components of a MeSH record.

Automatic Term Mapping (ATM): Learn about Automatic Term Mapping (ATM) – the process that maps keywords from your PubMed search to the controlled vocabulary of the MeSH database. Learn why searching with keywords in PubMed can be an effective approach to searching. Look at the explosion feature, what is and is not included in search details, and explore how PubMed processes phrases.

Building and Refining Your Search: Use some of the tools and features built into PubMed that are designed to help you search more effectively. Explore the filters sidebar and Topic-Specific Queries. Use History, tools in the NLM Catalog, and the Advanced Search Builder to build searches and explore topics.

Using Evidence-Based Search Features: Explore terminology used for indexing study design in PubMed, explore 3 PubMed products that facilitate evidence based searching, and learn how to customize My NCBI Filters to quickly locate specific publication types.

Customization – My NCBI: Learn about the advantages of creating a My NCBI account, managing and manipulating your My NCBI page content, locating and identifying available filters on PubMed’s filter sidebar, selecting and setting up to fifteen filters, and creating a custom filter.

Space is limited, register now at

All about the new MeSH browser

Monday, November 21st, 2016

If you’ve spent any time among medical librarians, you’ve probably heard the term MeSH tossed about. MeSH stands for medical subject headings, the National Library of Medicine’s controlled vocabulary thesaurus. In PubMed, MeSH is used to describe research articles. Likewise, you can use the MeSH database in PubMed to build very specific searches. But there is another, separate resource called The MeSH Browser – and it has been totally rebuilt with a design upgrade that enhances term discovery and, in general, is easier on the eyes.

First, a moment of silence for the MeSH Browsers of old:

Mesh Browser ca. 2002

Mesh Browser ca. 2002


MeSH browser ca. 2015

MeSH browser ca. 2015


Here’s what’s new:

A: Top navigation bar on every page

B: Search box

C: Search options for FullWord (looks for complete words only) or SubString (searches for a string of characters that are a complete term or are within a sentence or within another word)

D: Sort by Relevance or Alphabetically

E: Display many results or just a few

Want to know more? The NLM Technical Bulletin from Nov-Dec 2016 has extensive details.

Link to MeSH Browser

The National Library of Medicine welcomes feedback on the new MeSH browser. Submit here.