Use of 2022 MeSH in Cataloging. NLM Technical Bulletin. 2021 Nov–Dec

Use of 2022 MeSH in Cataloging. NLM Technical Bulletin. 2021 Nov–Dec

Willis S. Use of 2022 MeSH in Cataloging. NLM Tech Bull. 2021 Nov-Dec;(443):e7.

[Update: As of December 16, 2021, the 2022 base files for all MARC, NLMXML and MARCXML products as well as the weekly Catfile distribution file for December 16 have been posted at A reminder that any records updated between December 2 and December 16 are only available in the base file.]

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) adopted the 2022 MeSH vocabulary for cataloging on December 9, 2021. For additions and changes to MeSH terminology for 2022, see What’s New in MeSH.

Implications for the LocatorPlus Catalog and the NLM Catalog

Accordingly, MeSH subject headings in the LocatorPlus Catalog were changed to reflect the 2022 MeSH vocabulary and appear in that form as of December 9, 2021.

It is anticipated that the NLM Catalog database and translation tables will be updated to reflect 2022 MeSH by mid-December 2021. Until then, there will be a brief hiatus in the addition of new and edited bibliographic records to the NLM Catalog.

Implications for Downloading Catalog Record Data

The last weekly Catfile distribution with 2021 MeSH terms was on December 2. It is expected that weekly Catfile distribution will resume on December 16, which will contain 2022 MeSH. Any record updates made between December 2 and December 16 will only be available in the baseline file. A follow-up announcement will be posted when the baseline files for MARC and XML data are available. See also Download Catalog Record Data (Catfile, CatfilePlus, Serfile).

The last monthly CatfilePlus and Serfile distribution with 2021 MeSH was on December 1.

Implications for the NLM Classification

The winter version of the NLM Classification is scheduled to be published in late January 2022 and will encompass changes resulting from new and changed MeSH terms for 2022, as well as additional minor updates to the index. The main index terms will continue to link to that 2021 MeSH until the Winter 2022 edition is published in January.

The NLM Classification number appears in several terms in the MeSH browser and is supplied by the Cataloging and Metadata Management Section (CaMMS) when the MeSH term points to a single classification number. These class numbers are current as of the Winter 2021 edition of the NLM Classification. They will be updated with the publication of the 2022 Winter edition in January 2022.

MeSH 2022 Changes in NLM Bibliographic Records and Cataloging Policy

Generally, vocabulary changes in NLM bibliographic records for books, serials, and other materials were implemented as they were applied for citations in MEDLINE.

One new 2022 MeSH descriptor was marked as CATALOGER: Do not use Health Disparity, Minority and Vulnerable Populations. This is a placeholder term for the several members of the 2021 Ethnic Groups subtree that were moved to form part of this new 2022 subtree. Vulnerable Populations and Sexual and Gender Minorities were also moved to this new subtree.

There were no Publication Types added or changed for MeSH 2022.

By Sharon Willis
Cataloging and Metadata Management Section (CaMMS)

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