An infobutton for Web 2.0 clinical discussions: the knowledge linkage framework

IEEE Trans Inf Technol Biomed. 2012 Jan;16(1):129-35. doi: 10.1109/TITB.2011.2177097. Epub 2011 Nov 22.


This paper aims to develop an infobutton to automatically retrieve published papers corresponding to a topic-specific online clinical discussion. The knowledge linkages infobutton is designed to supplement online clinical conversations with pertinent medical literature from Pubmed. The project involves three distinct steps: 1) Clinical messages around a specific problem are grouped together into a thread. 2) These threads are processed using Metamap to link the conversations to keywords from the MeSH lexicon. 3) These keywords are used in a novel search strategy to retrieve a set of papers from Pubmed, which are then returned to the user. A pilot study using the messages from 2007 and 2008, was conducted to compare the knowledge linkage search strategy to a vector space model and extended Boolean model. The knowledge linkage model proved to be significantly better in terms of precision ( p = 0.013 and 0.003, respectively) and recall ( p = 0.351 and 0.013). Pertinent papers were returned to over 55% of the threads. This approach has demonstrated how clinicians can supplement their peer communications with evidence based research. Future work should focus on how to improve the threading and keyword-mapping strategies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Biomedical Research
  • Information Storage and Retrieval / methods*
  • Medical Subject Headings
  • PubMed*
  • Social Media*
  • Software*