The Availability of MeSH in Vendor-Supplied Cataloguing Records, as Seen Through the Catalogue of a Canadian Academic Health Library

  • Pamela S. Morgan Memorial University of Newfoundland


This study examines the prevalence of medical subject headings in vendor-supplied cataloguing records for publications contained within aggregated databases or publisher collections. In the first phase, the catalogue of one Canadian academic medical library was examined to determine the extent to which medical subject headings (MeSH) are available in the vendor-supplied records. In the second phase, these results are compared to the catalogues of other Canadian academic medical libraries in order to reach a generalization regarding the availability of MeSH headings for electronic resources. MeSH was more widespread in records for electronic journals but was noticeably lacking in records for electronic monographs, and for Canadian publications. There is no standard for ensuring MeSH is assigned to monograph records for health titles and there is no library in Canada with responsibility for ensuring that Canadian health publications receive Medical Subject Headings. It is incumbent upon libraries using MeSH to ensure that vendors are aware of this need when purchasing record sets.

Author Biography

Pamela S. Morgan, Memorial University of Newfoundland
Information Resources Librarian Health Sciences Library
Theory and Research