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, September 2003
Kahn, Tamar Joy
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.”
This article originally appeared in the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, Volume 13, Issue 3. It is placed here as a historical document. Much of the information, while still useful, is out of date.
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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 Kahn, Tamar Joy; Ninomiya, Hannelore (2003-08-31)