Monday, March 03, 2008

Help needed classifying keywords for IMIA

Prof Graham Wright is looking for help classifying keywords in the emerging Knowledge Base for the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA).

Building on, in part, the Otley outputs, a second phase of work is being jointly funded by IMIA and BCSHIF to develop the knowledge core for IMIA, and the wider international health informatics community.

Phase 2 methods and pilot results

In Phase 1, the Otley workshop, a group of health informatics experts was asked to identify the elements of the discipline of health informatics. For Phase 2, the published and peer-reviewed literature is taken to be a valid proxy for such expertise. A literature analysis examining the emerging themes and high level descriptors is being undertaken, using document and discourse analysis software and methods. This is based in an analysis of available electronic literature, and will additionally use established and novel indexing and analysis techniques. The method is acknowledged to be similar to that used by Lorenzi to develop the original IMIA Scientific Map, but makes use of materials and methods not available at that time.

Use of keywords in many publications depends on author selection as opposed to a consistent approach, and is causing some issues in indexing, and different 'in vogue' terms in different places and times seem to be skewing some of the results of the literature searches. All of these issues are important factors that we will be analysing as the current research phase unfolds. A search of Pubmed using Reference Manager 11 using a set of search criteria Included:-
Health Informatics
Medical Informatics
Clinical Informatics
Nursing Informatics
Pharmacy Informatics
Dental Informatics

But excluded Bioinformatics because of the heavy orientation in the literature to genomics.

The keywords in each article were extracted and transferred to an access database and then an excel spreadsheet.

Some 10,000 different words were produced and these were given to a team of information experts at a workshop in London on the 24th January 2007. The group reduced this list to 444 words that seemed to be associated with the areas of health informatics as opposed to being merely English words and phases used in the articles.

In addition the index of the last five years of the British Journal of Healthcare Computing was used as a pilot and the experts gathered in January produced a second set of themes and elements extending the Otley outputs.

How you can help

If you feel you could help
Graham has prepared a spreadsheet which contains the latest version of the emerging Knowledge Base for IMIA. He is looking for volunteers to spend twenty minutes or so classifying keywords.

Please contact him on and he will send you a copy of the spreadsheet and full instructions.

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