- Changing Vocabularies:A Guide to Help Bioethics Searchers Find Relevant Literature in National Library of Medicine Databases Using the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) Indexing Vocabulary
Table of Contents
|II.||Accessing and Searching MEDLINE/PubMed|
|II-A.||Using the Bioethics Subset Limiter in MEDLINE/PubMed|
|II-B.||Searching MEDLINE Using Free Text or MeSH Headings|
|II-C.||MeSH Subheadings, with Advice About Their Use for Bioethics-Related Retrieval|
|II-D.||MeSH Geographics and "Check Tags," with Advice About Their Use for Bioethics-Related Retrieval|
|II-E.||Bioethics-Related "Other Terms"|
|III.||Accessing and Searching the LOCATORplus Database|
|III-A.||Limiting Retrieval to Bioethics-Related Materials in LOCATORplus|
|III-B.||Searching LOCATORplus Using Free Text or MeSH Headings|
|IV.||Using the NLM Gateway for Searching Simultaneously MEDLINE/PubMed, LOCATORplus, and Other NLM Databases|
|IV-A.||Using the Bioethics Subset Limiter with the Gateway|
|IV-B.||Searching the Gateway Using Free Text or MeSH Headings|
|V.||Hints for Designing Bioethics Subject Search Strategies in MEDLINE/PubMed, LOCATORplus, and the Gateway|
|VI.||Selected "Major Issue" Bioethics Thesaurus Keywords and Corresponding MeSH, Arranged by Broad Subject Category|
|Appendix A:||Quick Guide to Finding Bioethics Citations in MEDLINE/PubMed|
|Appendix B:||Quick Guide to Finding Bioethics Citations in LOCATORplus|
|Appendix C:||Quick Guide to Finding Bioethics Citations Using the NLM Gateway|
|Appendix D:||Alphabetical List of All Bioethics Thesaurus Keywords with Corresponding MeSH Terms (not included here; available at http://bioethics.georgetown.edu/ir)|
For over twenty years, through December 2000, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) provided access to the journal and monographic literature of bioethics via a specialized database, BIOETHICSLINE, which was produced by the Kennedy Institute of Ethics (KIE) at Georgetown University. BIOETHICSLINE was indexed and searched using Keywords from the controlled vocabulary of the KIE's Bioethics Thesaurus. The vocabulary of the Thesaurus was developed over many years to reflect the concepts and terminology encountered in the bioethics literature.
Subsequently, citations to the journal literature were integrated into the "Bioethics Subset" of NLM's MEDLINE/PubMed database, which is made available on the World Wide Web via the PubMed retrieval system. Citations to books, book chapters, and audiovisual materials were integrated into NLM's Web-based database, LOCATORplus. Both of these large databases are indexed with NLM's MeSH (Medical Subject Headings)vocabulary.
Most of the approximately 750 Bioethics Thesaurus Keywords have been integrated into the MeSH vocabulary, which contains nearly 22,000 "subject descriptors."
The form of many Keywords was modified to fit the language patterns and hierarchical "tree" structures of MeSH or to avoid ambiguity in the broad medical context. For example, a natural language order multiword Keyword (MEDICAL ETHICS) became an inverted order MeSH Heading (ETHICS, MEDICAL). In nearly all such cases, the Keyword has been programmed as an "entry" term to the MeSH Heading, making it possible to search MEDLINE/PubMed with either the natural language or inverted form.
This Guide, available on the World Wide Web at http://bioethics.georgetown.edu/ir, is designed to help searchers familiar with the bioethics literature, or with the subject Keywords of the Bioethics Thesaurus, navigate the MeSH vocabulary to find terms that are likely to retrieve relevant citations. The Guide is also designed to introduce people interested in bioethics to the MEDLINE/PubMed and LOCATORplus databases and to NLM's Gateway system, which lets users search simultaneously in multiple NLM databases with their differing retrieval systems.
See Section VI for a set of easy-to-scan lists, in broad subject categories, of a subset of 110 Keywords that represent "major issues" in bioethics. In each list, Column 1 shows the Keyword (KW) and Column 2 shows the MeSH Headings (MH) most likely to have been used to index the same concept in MEDLINE/PubMed and LOCATORplus. Appendix D (available at http://bioethics.georgetown.edu/ir) provides a full alphabetical list of all Bioethics Thesaurus Keywords that have MeSH equivalents. [End Page 276]
II. Accessing and Searching MEDLINE/Pubmed
The MEDLINE/PubMed database is available free on the Internet, at http://pubmed.gov. For detailed information on how to search the database...