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19(04) 243-249
Developing a Biomedical Expert Finding System Using Medical Subject Headings
Harpreet Singh, PhD, Reema Singh, PhD, Arjun Malhotra, MSc, Manjit Kaur, MCA
Bioinformatics Centre, Indian Council of Medical Research, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi, India
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Objectives: Efficient identification of subject experts or expert communities is vital for the growth of any organization. Most of the available expert finding systems are based on self-nomination, which can be biased, and are unable to rank experts. Thus, the objective of this work was to develop a robust and unbiased expert finding system which can quantitatively measure expertise. Methods: Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) is a controlled vocabulary developed by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) for indexing research publications, articles and books. Using the MeSH terms associated with peer-reviewed articles published from India and indexed in PubMed, we developed a Web-based program which can be used to identify subject experts and subjects associated with an expert. Results: We have extensively tested our system to identify experts from India in various subjects. The system provides a ranked list of experts where known experts rank at the top of the list. The system is general; since it uses information available with the PubMed, it can be implemented for any country. Conclusions: The expert finding system is able to successfully identify subject experts in India. Our system is unique because it allows the quantification of subject expertise, thus enabling the ranking of experts. Our system is based on peer-reviewed information. Use of MeSH terms as subjects has standardized the subject terminology. The system matches requirements of an ideal expert finding system.
Healthcare Informatics Research 2013 Dec; 19(04) 243-249
Keyword : Medical Subject Headings, Data Mining, Online Systems, Expert Systems, Professional Competence

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