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Tuesday, May 17 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Poster Session 2: Poster Board Number 112

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Poster Board Number: 112
Title: A Rose by Any Other Name: Mapping of Medical Eponyms to Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) across Selected Systems
Objective: Eponyms are those terms derived from a person’s name. The field of medicine is rich in eponymic terminology: Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Munchausen syndrome, etc. While these examples are widely used, there is an abundance of less common medical eponyms that could lead searchers astray if adequate Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) mapping is not in place. The purpose of this study is to evaluate how various MEDLINE interfaces map eponyms to the MeSH vocabulary.
Methods: The interfaces used in this study were: the PubMed MeSH database, the PubMed Automatic Term Mapping feature, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) Gateway Term Finder, and Ovid MEDLINE. Eponyms were randomly selected from three print sources. The test data set included approximately fifty eponyms. Each eponym was entered into each MEDLINE interface to determine if it mapped to a corresponding MeSH term.
Results: Preliminary results indicate that PubMed MeSH Browser has the highest matching rate for eponyms at 87%, followed by both the NLM Gateway Term Matcher and Ovid MEDLINE at 77%, and PubMed’s automatic term mapping at 51%. The interfaces in this study performed reasonably well with the tested data. However, the study process uncovered a number of difficulties when searching for eponyms.
Conclusions: Only eponyms that had associated MeSH terms were used in the study. Many eponyms were excluded because associated MeSH terms could not be determined. Eponyms present further complications in that some eponyms relate to more than one definition and some definitions have multiple eponyms. Further investigation is required.
Authors: Mary Shultz, AHIP, Health Sciences Librarian; Ryan Rafferty, Assistant Health Sciences Librarian; Library of the Health Sciences-Urbana; University of Illinois-Chicago, Urbana, IL

Tuesday May 17, 2011 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Exhibit Hall A - Minneapolis Convention Center

Attendees (10)

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