Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC San Diego

UC San Diego Previously Published Works bannerUC San Diego

Searching the Literature Using Medical Subject Headings versus Text Word with PubMed


Objective/Hypothesis: This study was conducted to investigate the performance of two search strategies in the retrieval of information from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) on otolaryngology–head and neck surgery related conditions and diagnoses using PubMed.

Methods: Two search strategies—one based on the use of Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) and the second based on text word searching—were compared.

Results: The MeSH search provided a more efficient search than the text word search.

Conclusions: Head and neck surgeons can most efficiently search the NLM using PubMed as a search engine by initiating the search with MeSH terms. Once a key article is identified, the searcher should use the “Related Articles” feature.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View