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Ovid - Advanced searching in Medline: Subject Headings

Ovid - Advanced searching in Medline, Wellington Medical & Health Sciences Library, University of Otago.


Searching using subject headings

Enter your search term and click Search. If you wish to search using Subject Headings leave the Map Term to Subject Heading checkbox checked.

Search in Medline via Ovid. "rehabilitation" in search box and "Map Term to Subject Heading" checked.

Search for each subject term separately; this gives you more flexibility later when combining your search terms.

Choosing a subject heading

You are taken to a display of subject headings that best match your search term. Select the heading that is the best match.

Use the Scope information icon to find out the definition and coverage of a heading.

Scope information icons highlighted.

If there is no subject heading to match your search terms you can search by keyword instead.

Before continuing click on your chosen heading.

You will now see your heading in the context of other subject headings i.e. the broader and narrower (more specific) headings. Narrower headings will be indented and you can click on the + sign to view even narrower headings.

List of subject headings with [ + ] highlighted.

You can now decide if you wish to search one subject heading only, or include broader or narrower headings as well.


If you want to include all the narrower headings underneath your subject heading, check the Explode checkbox.

"Explode" checkbox highlighted.


Check the Focus checkbox to retrieve articles when your chosen subject heading reflects the main topic of the article.

"Focus" checkbox highlighted.

Note: You can use both Explode and Focus together.