The automation of controlled vocabulary subject indexing of medical journal articles

David Roberts (School of Computer Studies, University of Leeds, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds LS2 9JT)
Clive Souter (School of Computer Studies, University of Leeds, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds LS2 9JT)

Aslib Proceedings

ISSN: 0001-253X

Publication date: 1 December 2000

Abstract

This article discusses the possibility of the automation of sophisticated subject indexing of medical journal articles. Approaches to subject descriptor assignment in information retrieval research are usually either based upon the manual descriptors in the database or generation of search parameters from the text of the article. The principles of the Medline indexing system are described, followed by a summary of a pilot project, based upon the Amed database. The results suggest that a more extended study, based upon Medline, should encompass various components: Extraction of ‘concept strings’ from titles and abstracts of records, based upon linguistic features characteristic of medical literature. Use of the Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) for identification of controlled vocabulary descriptors. Coordination of descriptors, utilising features of the Medline indexing system. The emphasis should be on system manipulation of data, based upon input, available resources and specifically designed rules.

Keywords

Citation

Roberts, D. and Souter, C. (2000), "The automation of controlled vocabulary subject indexing of medical journal articles", Aslib Proceedings, Vol. 52 No. 10, pp. 384-401. https://doi.org/10.1108/EUM0000000007030

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Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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