Ovid MEDLINE uses a system called mapping to suggest the most relevant subject headings to the words typed into the box. Your search does not automatically default to searching by subject term, and is not an option when searching Ovid Journals.
Similar to MeSH in PubMed, Ovid's Subject Headings are a way to fine-tune your results. For example, a general search on the word "culture" has the following results:
If you search using the "Map to Subject Headings" option, you might see something that looks like this.
If your search did not map to a desirable subject heading, select the box "Search as Keyword."
If you select more than one term, you can combine them using a boolean operator (AND or OR). Remember, if you want articles about one concept OR another, choose OR.
For example, a search on the word Diabetes using "Map to Subject Headings" gave these options:
If your topic is Gestational Diabetes, using Subject Headings will save a lot of time by eliminating quite a few other areas.
Clicking on the box in front of Diabetes, Gestational brings you to a page with subheadings. This allows you to refine your search even further. If you want all information about Gestational Diabetes, click the Include All Subheadings box. That will return 7527 results.
Choosing Explode (as shown in the image slightly farther up the page) brings you to the same screen as directly above, except now there are 9017 results. This is because Explode returns articles that pertain to Gestational Diabetes but do not have it as a main topic.
Choosing Focus (as shown in the image slightly farther up the page) brings you to the same screen as directly above, except now there are 6190 results. This is because Focus returns only those articles that have Gestational Diabetes as a main topic.