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Proc AMIA Symp. 1999:1004-7.

Task-specific journal extracts for using the medical literature.

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  • 1School of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.


Clinicians and researchers use the medical literature in a variety of ways. The overwhelming volume of clinical journals necessitates tools to help healthcare professionals identify and employ relevant information. The structured abstract can facilitate browsing articles, but may not contain appropriate types of information or sufficient detail for all uses of the medical literature. We have created customized views of journal articles that provide information for specific research or clinical tasks, such as evaluating the scientific validity of a clinical trial. These summaries are called extracts because we literally extract information of a particular type from the full text of an article. We employ a context-based indexing scheme, previously designed for improving precision in literature searches, to automatically generate extracts from clinical research articles. In this paper, we present an evaluation of the content and utility of these task-specific extracts. Our results provide preliminary evidence that such extracts contain information that is relevant to clinical and research tasks and may facilitate understanding and use of the medical literature.

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