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Monday, January 12, 2004

Tip for explaining MeSH concept

Using a 'sweets' analogy seems to work quite well. E.g. you are looking for articles about sweets. You want to find articles about all sweets, not just particular ones. If you search by keyword, you’ll have to think of all the names of sweets from fizzy cola cubes and pear drops to aniseed balls and gobstoppers – an impossible task. So instead of doing a keyword search which will only look for the specific words (i.e. sweet names) you type in, you do a subject search in the hope of identifying a term that is used to group all these different types of sweets together.
That’s the general gist anyway, and it seems to click with people.

Zoë Debenham, Royal Shrewsbury Hospital


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