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MeSH Authorities

MeSH authority records

The National Library of Medicine creates and maintains the authority records. Records are stored and displayed in the MARC authorities format. When working with WorldCat bibliographic records, you can search the MeSH authority records to determine the correct forms for names of persons, organizations, conferences, or titles associated with the resource you are describing.

Types of headings

See MeSH indexes and indexed fields for a list of headings.

Search or browse for a MeSH authority record

When working with WorldCat bibliographic records, you can search the National Library of Medicine's controlled vocabulary thesaurus MeSH authority records to determine the correct forms for medical subject headings associated with the resource you are describing as well as for Library of Congress Personal Names, Corporate and Conference Names, and Titles tagged as MeSH).

  1. From the Data Type drop-down list, select Authority Records.
  2. From the Scope drop-down list, select a scope.
    • MeSH Authorities - searches the MeSH file
    • MeSH Authorities - Browse - browses the MeSH file
  3. From the Index drop-down list, select an index. For a list of all indexes, see MeSH indexes and indexed fields.
  4. In the Term(s) text field, enter your search terms. The text field will expand to fit your search terms, if needed.
  5. Click Search. The Search results page appears with the matching authorities results listed in a table.
    Search results columns - Table
    column description
    Name The name of the authority and its associated See (4xx) and See Also (5xx) references.
     Note: See and See Also references are displayed as links if they lead to an authority record. Click the link to open the authority record in the MARC editor.
    Field The field in which the authority appears.
    Description Lists information about personal, corporate/conference, or geographic names.
    Action Click Edit to open the authority record in the MARC 21 editor.
  6. Click the Name of the matching item to view the authority file record.

Apply MeSH authority heading information to a bibliographic record

After you control a heading and replace the record in WorldCat, Record Manager automatically updates the heading whenever the linked authority record changes.

  1. Open the record to which you wish to apply MeSH authority heading information.
  2. In the MARC 21 editor, click the field immediately above the location where you want to add the controlled field and then click the Add Field icon.
  3. In the Basic search panel, select a scope.
    • MeSH Authorities - searches the MeSH file
    • MeSH Authorities - Browse - browses the MeSH file
  4. From the Index drop-down list, select an index.
  5. Based on the index you selected, enter your search terms. The text field will expand to fit your search terms, if needed.
  6. Click Search. The Search results page appears with the matching authorities results listed in a table.
    Search results columns - Table
    column description
    Name The name of the authority and its associated See (4xx) and See Also (5xx) references.
     Note: See and See Also references are displayed as links if they lead to an authority record. Click the link to open the authority record in the MARC editor.
    Field The field in which the authority appears.
    Description Lists information about personal, corporate/conference, or geographic names.
    Action Click Edit to open the authority record in the MARC 21 editor.
  7. Click the Name of the matching authority to view the authority file record.
  8. Click Copy Link Data.
  9. Return to the field you created in the MARC 21 editor.
  10. Select Apply Authority Link from the Edit drop-down menu. The MeSH authority heading information is added to the field. The header displays as a hyperlink in the bibliographic record and the $0 value is shown as a mouse-over of the link.