Now, let's try that Phthises search using MeSH. First, go to the MeSH database link below, and search for "Phthises."
MeSH indexers who have read the current biomedical literature agree that the topic of Phthises is best described as "Tuberculosis, Pulmonary." A search in MeSH for any of the synonyms for this topic take the searcher directly to the "Tuberculosis, Pulmonary" Subject Heading. From there, searchers can see the term's definition and all the synonyms for this topic (listed as "Entry Terms"), the related Subheadings, and the place(s) in which the topic appears in the MeSH hierarchy.
Fortunately for researchers in the biological and medical sciences, a key database, MEDLINE, has a robust controlled vocabulary called MeSH (Medical Subject Headings). To understand how the MeSH vocabulary is constructed, watch the video from the National Library of Medicine.
MeSH is openly accessible, and some third parties use the MeSH controlled vocabulary to build advanced search tools. One such tool, the Visual Medical Dictionary, uses a natural language processing module that reads the literature the same way a human scientist or MeSH indexer would. This allows the Visual Medical Dictionary to show functional relationships between MeSH terms by using color and line thickness:
Try the "Phthises" search once more in the Visual Medical Dictionary, and compare/contrast with what you found in the MeSH Database. What unique information does the Visual Medical Dictionary provide? NOTE: Not all MeSH terms are present in the Visual Medical Dictionary.