Available Until 4/3/2025

Topic Searching in PubMed: Using the Medical Subject Headings (On Demand)

For more information or to schedule this course, please contact Katherine Majewski at NLMTrainers@nih.gov

PubMed maps your search terms to Medical Subject Headings (MeSH®) to augment your search with additional terms from the vocabulary that NLM uses to describe articles in MEDLINE®/PubMed. Take this course to better understand how PubMed uses MeSH and how you can take control of your PubMed topic searches for better precision or recall. 

Resource URL: https://www.nnlm.gov/training/class-catalog/topic-searching-pubmed-using-medical-subject-headings

This course is an approved elective for Level I of the Systematic Review Services Specialization.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Recognize that MeSH is automatically included in PubMed searches and demonstrate how it improves your search results.
  2. Identify when you need to go beyond the automated features of PubMed in your topic searches (and when you do not).
  3. Properly document PubMed searches for formal queries.
  4. Explore MeSH and build PubMed searches using the MeSH Database.
  5. Accommodate non-indexed records in comprehensive searches.
  6. Apply distinct techniques for special PubMed searches.


Module 00: PubMed Basics 

Module 01: Foundations of MeSH 

Module 02: Refining your Search 

Module 03: Exploring MeSH 

Module 04: Techniques for Special Queries 

MLA CE Credits: 2