Hinari access to Research Initiative gateway (hinari) module 3: how to Use pubMed




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HINARI Access to Research Initiative gateway (HINARI)

MODULE 4.3: HOW to UsE PubMed

-- MeSH: THE MEDICAL SUBJECT HEADINGS



Table of Contents – Module 4.3:

    • Using MeSH in PubMed

    • The MeSH database

      • Major Topic Headings and Explode

      • Using MeSH terms

      • Geographic regions

This module continues the mastering of the skills necessary to utilize the PubMed database as means to identify e-journals within HINARI. It will emphasize the use of the MeSH controlled vocabulary as a tool to retrieve information from PubMed.


You must login to HINARI and then go to search for articles through PubMed (Medline) or you will not have access to the full-text articles (see section 1. Connecting to PubMed)
Note: Remember that you must keep your sign on to HINARI open; do note close this tab on the bottom of your Internet browser’s screen.


  1. Connecting To PubMed

HINARI users can search and access full-text articles directly from the PubMed database. You will need to have your HINARI log in details to do this.


  • First go to the HINARI website found at www.who.int/hinari where you can select the LOGIN hyperlink which will take you to the HINARI login page.

  • When the login page opens, enter your institutional HINARI User Name and Password into the login boxes and then select the “Login” button to access the HINARI site.

  • If you do not register in HINARI using your institution’s User Name and Password, you will not have access to the HINARI publishers’ full-text articles at the completion of your PubMed search.

  • From the Full-text journals, databases and other resources page, select the hyperlink “Search HINARI journal articles through PubMed (Medline)”.

The home page for PubMed displays giving you access to PubMed databases.





  1. MeSH Or Medical Subject Headings and Using MeSH In PubMed

MeSH is the controlled vocabulary used to index articles for Medline. The MeSH vocabulary provides a consistent way to retrieve information that may use different terminology to describe the same concept. It is important to realize that if an article is indexed for MEDLINE the MeSH terms will be assigned as keywords to each of the indexed articles.
If you search for articles using MeSH headings alone, you only will find those articles that have been indexed for MeSH terms. You will miss those articles that are PubMed, but not indexed for MEDLINE, as they will not have MeSH terms assigned to their records.
This module will guide you through using the MeSH or Medical Subject Headings. There are exercises incorporated within the module to illustrate the use of MeSH in the search process.


  1. The MeSH Database

To access the MeSH Database from the initial PubMed page, click on the “MeSH Database” link in the More Resources listing. You can also open the MeSH Database by selecting it from the ‘dropdown’ menu next to “Search” in the search toolbar.
To search the MeSH database you need to ensure that the box adjacent to Search displays MeSH and that you enter your search terms in the longer search box.

To search for the MeSH term that applies to your topic enter your search statement in the search box click on Go to run your search. The database will then display the results that match your term.



Tip!

If you use the back button on your browser while navigating around PubMed you may find that you need to use the refresh feature in order to re-display the webpage.



Exercise 1

  • In this exercise we will look for a MeSH term for Cancer

  • Enter your search terms in the empty search query box- type in the following statement: Cancer.

  • Then click on the adjacent Go button.

  • From the results found you can see that the MeSH term for cancer is Neoplasms.

  • What is the definition supplied for the term Neoplasms?

The record for a MeSH term contains a definition of the term, associated subheadings, a list of entry terms and the tree view of MeSH. You will see the description and the subheadings which are associated with the term.




    1. Major Topic Headings and Explode

Below the subheadings are two check boxes. One refers to Major Topic Headings only and the other to instruct PubMed not to Explode a term. Under this section there are entry terms with see also references. Each record also has a tree view of MeSH displaying the term and its position in the MeSH tree structure.

Exercise 2

  • Select and open the MeSH Database.

  • In this exercise, we will look for a MeSH term for Dengue

  • Enter your search terms in the empty search query box- type in the following statement: Dengue. Then click on the adjacent Go button.

  • From the results found, you can see that there are multiple MeSH terms for Dengue.

  • Click on the hyperlinked term for dengue to display more information.

  • Look at the definition and the subheadings.

  • Check the box to the left of the MeSH term for Dengue.

  • Then go to the drop down menu that begins with Send to and select/click on the Send to search box with AND button.

  • The term will be entered in the search box as Dengue [MeSH].

  • Click on the PubMed Search button.

  • Display your results in the citation format and look at the MeSH terms on the records.

  • What is the result (# of citations) from this search?

Note: When your term is entered in the search box you can add further keywords or MeSH terms to the search. If you wish to search using subheadings select the appropriate subheading by checking the selection box next to it.



Exercise 3




  • Select and open the MeSH Database.

  • Enter your search terms in the empty search query box- type in the following statement: Dengue.

  • Then click on the adjacent Go button.

  • Click on the hyperlinked term to display more information.

  • Look at the definition and the subheadings and select the one for prevention and control, go to the drop down menu that begins with Send to and select/click on the Send to search box with AND button The term will be entered in the search box.

  • Click on the PubMed Search button.

  • Display your results in the citation format and look at the MeSH terms on the records. You will notice the occurrence of your terms in the MeSH list.

  • What is the result (# of citations) from this search?

  • Is this the same, somewhat smaller or significantly smaller that the # of citations for the original Dengue search?


3.2 Restricting to Major Topic Headings Only


Restricting a search to the Major Topic Headings means that the items found will be primarily about that Major Term and will not be those that relate to the subject in secondary terms or just mention it in passing. For example if we restrict Dengue to a Major Topic Heading we will be finding articles whose primary subject matter is about dengue.
Exercise 4


  • Select and open the MeSH Database.

  • Enter your search terms in the empty search query box- type in the following statement: Dengue.

  • Then click on the adjacent Go button.

  • From the results found you can see that there are 16 MeSH terms for Dengue.

  • Click on the hyperlinked term to display more information.

  • Then tick the check box for Restrict Search to Major Topic Headings Only.

  • Go to the drop down menu that begins with Send to and select/click on the Send to search box with AND button. The term will be entered in the search box.

  • Look at the details Dengue [MAJR] shows the search restriction to Major Topic Headings.

  • Click on the PubMed Search button.

  • Display your results in the citation format and look at the MeSH terms on the records.

  • What is the result (# of citations) from this search?

  • Is this the same, somewhat smaller or significantly smaller that the # of citations for the second search you completed - ‘Dengue – prevention and control’? Why do you think you obtained this answer?



Identifying Major MeSH terms in retrieved records

In the citation format, Major MeSH terms are identified with an asterisk next to them e.g. Dengue.



3.3 Using MeSH terms

If you look at your search history you can compare the difference in numbers of the records found searching as a keyword, MeSH term and Major MeSH term. The MeSH term describes the content of an article using consistent terminology and is valuable for finding relevant items with some degree of specificity. Restricting a search to Major MeSH Terms can improve the specificity of a search although you may miss some items where your topic is not the main focus of the article.


3.4 Geographical regions

There are also MeSH terms assigned to geographical regions and countries.


Exercise 5


  • Select and open the MeSH Database.

  • Type in the search term Asia in the empty search query box. Then click on the adjacent Go button.

  • From the results found you can see the MeSH terms for Asia.

  • Select the first option for Asia by clicking on the hyperlink and look at the list under the MeSH categories. The tree structure is broken down into regions and countries.

  • Select Myanmar and a new page opens showing the description, subheadings and entry terms.

  • You should find that Burma and Myanma are the Entry Terms for Myanmar.


Exercise 6


  • Select and open the MeSH Database.

  • Enter your search terms in the empty search query box by typing in Developing Countries. Then click on the adjacent Go button.

  • From the results found you can see the MeSH term for developing countries. It was introduced in 1971.

  • Select the Developing Countries hyperlink

  • Look at the Entry Terms and you will see the terms that will map to the MeSH term.

  • Select to search for articles tagged with this search term by placing a tick in the check box next to Developing Countries

  • Go to the drop down menu that begins with Send to and select/click on the Send to search box with AND button. The term will be entered in the search box.

  • Click on the PubMed Search button.

  • Display your results in the citation format and look at the MeSH terms on the records and the occurrence of your term.

  • What is the result (# of citations) from this search?

The final exercise combines a number of the concepts that have been discussed above and will lead you through a series of steps that will result in a very precise study based on the use of MeSH terms.


Exercise 7




  • Open the MeSH Database.

  • Type Dengue in the search query box and click on GO.

  • Select the MeSH term dengue and Send to Search Box with AND Type disease outbreaks in the search query box in the MeSH database and click on GO.

  • Select the MeSH term Disease Outbreaks and Send to Search Box with AND

  • Go to the MeSH Database again.

  • Type South East Asia in the search query box and click on GO.

  • Select the MeSH term Asia, Southeastern and “Send to Search Box with AND

  • Now click on PubMed Search from the MeSH query box.

What is the result (# of citations) from this search?
Assignment

You now have completed module 4.3 and finished seven exercises. You have learned what MeSH terms are and how they can be applied to retrieve information in PubMed.


Updated 06 2009



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