To use the MeSH vocabulary (Medical Subject Headings) in MEDLINE:
Make sure you're searching only in MEDLINE.
Click the "MeSH" button in the blue toolbar.
Enter your first term in the browse bar and hit "Enter."
Check the box to the left of the term you wish to use or explore (this does the same thing as selecting the "Explode" check box). Clicking the small "talk bubble" next to a term will pull up scope notes explaining what information is grouped under this subject tag.
If you're adding more terms, click the "Browse Additional Terms" link underneath the subject list and repeat the above steps to select each additional subject.
When you've selected all of the subject headings you need, check either the "AND" or "OR" button beneath your selected search terms. Then click the green "Search Database" button. If the initial search doesn't do what you wanted it to, you can edit the text in the search bar if you need to add parentheses, change an "AND" or an "OR," etc.
Most of these keyword tricks will work in any of our databases (particularly useful in Sage Online Journals and in the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials). They also work in Discovery, as well as Google and most other search engines.
Put phrases in quotations marks to search for the phrase exactly as you've typed it:
"type 1 diabetes"
Also helpful for unusual spellings that may get autocorrected when you don't want them to!
breastfe* will look for any words that start with "breastfe"-- like breastfeeding, breastfed
"Nest" your terms:
breastfe* AND ("diabetes-- in children" OR "diabetes-- in youth")
This will search for results about breastfeeding that have to do with diabetes in either children or young people. This is called "Boolean logic" and may remind you of algebra class!