Subject terms are assigned based on article content, allowing you to create a targeted search. When you click the Suggest Subject Terms box above the Find field prior to conducting a search, your terms are searched against the CINAHL Headings or MeSH Headings authority, depending on the database being searched. From there, you can select headings and subheadings to refine your search.
To use CINAHL/MeSH headings:
Enter your search terms in the Find field, check the Suggest Subject Terms box and click Search.
Note: You can also browse CINAHL or MeSH Headings by clicking the link in the top toolbar.
A result list of related terms is displayed. Check the box for a subject heading to view available subheadings.
Check boxes of desired subheadings to add them to your search.
Terms are added to the Search Term Builder box on the right.
Click Browse Additional Terms to add more headings to your search
- OR -
Click Search Database to execute the search.
A result list is displayed.
Using Explode and Major Concept
When you Explode a term, you create a search query that “explodes” the subject heading. The headings are exploded to retrieve all references indexed to that term as well as all references indexed to any narrower subject terms.
In a database with a tree, such as MeSH or CINAHL Headings, exploding retrieves all documents containing any of the subject terms below the term you selected. In other databases, exploding retrieves all documents containing the selected term, as well as any of its first level of narrower terms. If a plus sign (+) appears next to a narrower or related term, there are narrower terms below it.
When you select Major Concept for a term, you create a search query that finds only records for which the subject heading is a major point of the article. Searches are limited with specific qualifiers (subheadings) to improve the precision of the search, and limited to major subject headings indicate the main concept of an article.
Combining Explode and Major Concept
If you select both Explode and Major Concept, you retrieve all references indexed to your term (and its narrower terms) and all articles for which the subject heading is a major point of the article.
Click on the Scope link and view the entire Scope Note.
Term Begins With
If you browse the MeSH thesaurus and enter “acids” in the Browse for field and select Term Begins With, the list displays the terms in alphabetical order:
Acids, 2,5-Dihydroxybenzoic Use: Gentisates
Acids, 2-Butenoic Use: Crotonic Acids
Acids, 4-Hydroxybenzoic Use: Parabens
Acids, Acetic Use: Acetic Acids
If you browse the MeSH thesaurus and enter “acids” in the Browse for field and select Term Contains, the term searched for appears first followed by a list of terms displayed in alphabetical order:
2 Butenoic Acids Use: Crotonic Acids
2,5 Dihydroxybenzoic Acids Use: Gentisates
2,5-Dihydroxybenzoic Acids Use: Gentisates
2-Butenoic Acids Use: Crotonic Acids
4 Hydroxybenzoic Acids Use: Parabens
4-Hydroxybenzoic Acids Use: Parabens
If you browse the MeSH thesaurus and enter “acids” in the Browse for field and selected Relevancy Ranked, the exact match for the term appears first followed by a list of terms displayed in order of relevance.
Amino Acid Transport Systems, Acidic