Occupational Therapy

Library of the Health Sciences

Save yourself some time! Use subject headings or MeSH

One strategy that can make your research run more smoothly is the use of subject headings, like Medical Subject Headings (MeSH).  Subject headings are what we call "controlled vocabulary."  In other words, they are terminology that are used to identify all the articles on a given topic.  For example, you could do one search for articles with the subject heading "Carbonated Beverages," instead of searching for all variations of the word "pop" (i.e. "soda," "coke," "soft drink").

Most databases make their own brand of subject headings; PubMed uses "MeSH" (Medical Subject Headings), but CINAHL uses "CINAHL headings". They still work the same.