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I understand the question as "Is it ok to cite X and how do I cite X?"  I didn't understand the question as "My doc is looking for a better/more authoritative source to cite."   For whatever reason, the doc likes what MeSH says on this topic with regard to his or her project and wants to use it and cite it appropriately.  Please correct me if I am off track with the question.

To my knowledge there's no law that says "you can't cite these sorts of things."  There is law about using things without citing them.

This citation guide gives a number of examples that might work.  I'm not sure if you would cite it as a website, journal or magazine article from a database, a government publication  or maybe even an online encyclopedia article. 

MeSH is a database, so I am leaning toward citing it as database content. I don't have an up to date AMA style guide to look it up in detail.

This is not AMA style, but it does show an example of citing MeSH at #41 


Beatrice F. Nichols, MA LIS
Library Director
Landstuhl Regional Medical Center 
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-----Original Message-----
From: Medical Libraries Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Karen Brunner
Sent: Wednesday, August 05, 2015 7:16 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Citing a MeSH term?

Hi all,

Please excuse my ignorance, but I am an academic librarian that has had to
quickly evolve into a health sciences librarian because of all the new
programs our university has added over the past couple of years.  I have
had a Doctor of Physical Therapy student inquire as to whether he can cite
a MeSH term and, if so, how he would go about doing that (in AMA style).
He is specifically interested in utilizing PubMed's definition of low back
pain:  Apparently, he
just really likes the way it has been defined in the scope note.

Is it okay to cite MeSH scope notes as a source?  I had never even
considered it!

Thank you for any insight!


Responsive. Relevant. Real.

Karen Brunner, MLIS | Reference/Instruction & Serials Librarian| Concordia
University, St. Paul <> | 651-603-6309 (ph) |
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