A collaboration between a Chinese university and Elsevier is undertaking the momentous task of cataloguing traditional Chinese medical knowledge as global clinical practice increasingly seeks to combine conventional and Eastern techniques. Healthcare IT News brought this interesting information to our attention in their article, “Elsevier to collaborate in cataloguing traditional Chinese medicine as global interest rises.”

Beijing University of Chinese Medicine has partnered with Elsevier to create a new taxonomy for traditional Chinese medicine in Elsevier’s biomedical and pharmacological literature database, Embase.

Because there is growing interest in Eastern medical techniques, Elsevier’s focus on ancient Chinese health practices will help enhance its content and clinical decision support (CDS) offerings.

Most of the inherited knowledge has been digitized, but indexing, searching and retrieving specific pieces of evidence can still present a challenge. Add to this the usual issues of atypical spellings, synonyms, translations, and symbols, and the challenges are even more an issue.

This is where a solid taxonomy comes into play, as it can provide consistency for tags that don’t quite line up with one another. Indexing metadata against this taxonomy results in solid and comprehensive search results. Access Innovations is one of a very small number of companies able to help its clients generate ANSI/ISO/W3C-compliant taxonomies.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.