bims-librar Biomed news
on Biomedical Librarianship
Issue of 2017‒12‒31
three papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society


  1. J Med Syst. 2017 Dec 23. 42(2): 27
    Li S, Sun Y, Soergel D.
      We present a novel approach to recommending articles from the medical literature that support clinical diagnostic decision-making, giving detailed descriptions of the associated ideas and principles. The specific goal is to retrieve biomedical articles that help answer questions of a specified type about a particular case. Based on the filtered keywords, MeSH(Medical Subject Headings) lexicon and the automatically extracted acronyms, the relationship between keywords and articles was built. The paper gives a detailed description of the process of by which keywords were measured and relevant articles identified based on link analysis in a weighted keywords network. Some important challenges identified in this study include the extraction of diagnosis-related keywords and a collection of valid sentences based on the keyword co-occurrence analysis and existing descriptions of symptoms. All data were taken from medical articles provided in the TREC (Text Retrieval Conference) clinical decision support track 2015. Ten standard topics and one demonstration topic were tested. In each case, a maximum of five articles with the highest relevance were returned. The total user satisfaction of 3.98 was 33% higher than average. The results also suggested that the smaller the number of results, the higher the average satisfaction. However, a few shortcomings were also revealed since medical literature recommendation for clinical diagnostic decision support is so complex a topic that it cannot be fully addressed through the semantic information carried solely by keywords in existing descriptions of symptoms. Nevertheless, the fact that these articles are actually relevant will no doubt inspire future research.
    Keywords:  Clinical decision support; Keyword co-occurrence analysis; Link analysis; Literature recommendation service
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10916-017-0876-3
  2. Bull Hist Med. 2017 ;91(4): 713-743
    Bull S.
      This article examines links between mid-Victorian opposition to commerce in popular works on sexual health and the introduction of a legal test of obscenity, in the 1868 trial R. v. Hicklin, that opened the public distribution of any work that contained sexual information to prosecution. The article demonstrates how both campaigning medical journals' crusades against "obscene quackery" and judicial and anti-vice groups who aimed to protect public morals responded to unruly trade in medical print by linking popular medical works with public corruption. When this link was codified, it became a double-edged sword for medical authorities. The Hicklin test provided these authorities with a blunt tool for disciplining professional medical behavior. However, it also radically narrowed the parameters through which even the most established practitioners could communicate medical information without risking censure.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1353/bhm.2017.0079