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Finding Information for Speech Pathology: PubMed and MeSH

A Library Guide to help with developing research projects in speech pathology (SPH516, SPH526, & SPH423)

MeSH Searching in PubMed

We have already seen that, in a PubMed basic search, the database automatically matches your search terms to MeSH terms.

If you want to build a search using MeSH terms, and are not sure of which terms to use, you can click on the link to the MeSH database, in the Explore column on the PubMed home page.


Here you can search for, match to, and select MeSH terms, and add them into the Search Builder:

  1. Search the MeSH database for MeSH terms that match the search terms you are using
  2. Select a MeSH term and add it to the PubMed Search Builder
  3. Repeat the process if necessary
  4. Click on Search PubMed to run the search in PubMed.

Note that, in PubMed, selected MeSH terms are automatically "exploded" - that is, the search includes all narrower terms in the MeSH hierarchy.

For more information on this, see the More Help box at right.

More Help with PubMed and MeSH

The following interactive tutorial starts by demonstrating how a basic search in PubMed includes MeSH terms, but goes on to show how to search the MeSH database and add a term to the PubMed Search Builder. It also explains "automatic explosion":