There are two main ways to search for MeSH terms on PubMed. The first search method is to look at the MeSH terms from an already searched article while the second method is searching the MeSH thesaurus.
Step 1: Head to the PubMed database and put in your search terms for your initial search. I will be searching for Cancer related MeSH terms.
Step 2 : Once you conduct your search with your initial search terms it will bring you to a page of articles. Go ahead and select one that is relevant to your topic. I selected the first article.
Step 3: Once you’ve found an article that is related to your topic, you can scroll down to the bottom of the page where it says MeSH terms. Here you will see a list of tagged MeSH terms. For this particular example, notice that instead of the word “cancer,” the MeSH term is “neoplasms.”
Step 4: Clicking on a MeSH term gives us the option to view a list of actions. If you select “search in PubMed” this action allows you to add the MeSH term to your current search box. If you select “Search In MeSH” this will search the term both in MeSH and as text.
For instance the MeSH term I choose was Immunotherapy, so it searched:
"Immunotherapy"[MeSH Terms] OR Immunotherapy[Text Word]
The second way to search MeSH terms is through the MeSH Thesaurus
Step 1: Head to the PubMed homepage. Click on Explore below the search box and select MeSH Database.
Step 2: From here it will take you to a new search page where you can input your search term.
Step 3: Here it will take you to a page of suggested MeSH Terms.
Step 4: Once you input your search term it will take you to a page that shows you the definition of the term, available subheadings, and other related search terms. Scroll down the page to see the entire list of suggestions.
Step 5: From here, you can find narrower or broader search terms using the MeSH hierarchy.
Created by Reina Kirkendall, 05/2022
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.