[Eril-l] Suggesting New Subject Headings

Wentz, Erin erin.wentz at mcphs.edu
Mon Aug 3 08:54:48 PDT 2020

Good morning, all,

Do you know how to suggest new subject headings to the creators of library databases? The NLM has instructions for suggesting new MeSH terms<https://www.nlm.nih.gov/mesh/meshsugg.html> . For other creators and vendors, would contacting customer support be the best option?

With how many things are out of our students' control right now, I wanted to incorporate more ways to give them agency in the courses I teach. Cataloging and indexing systems often make it easy to find specific information. They also reflect particular perspectives, which may not match with our students' perspectives. In addition, keeping the system fresh as disciplines advance and circumstances change is a big undertaking. There is a delay between when an idea first becomes public and it is incorporated into the cataloging / indexing system. I was thinking about including a slide for each database we use in the class with information about how to suggest new terms / revisions to existing terms. I would provide it as an FYI, not as a required/recommended activity. I would also make it clear that the creator / vendor may decide to not take the advice and that the entire process may take some time.

Some of you have responsibility for adding new official terms to a system. Do you foresee any problems with me including this information?

Thank you,


Erin Wentz
Electronic Resources Librarian, Assistant Professor
Library and Learning Resources
MCPHS University
179 Longwood Avenue | Boston MA 02115
erin.wentz at mcphs.edu
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