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

  • Author(s): Heskett, Karen M
  • Chang, Angela A, MD
  • Terence M, Davidson, MD
  • et al.
Abstract

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.

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