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AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2011;2011:750-9. Epub 2011 Oct 22.

SEACOIN--an investigative tool for biomedical informatics researchers.

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  • 1Center for Operations Research in Medicine and HealthCare, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA.


Peer-reviewed scientific literature is a prime source for accessing knowledge in the biomedical field. Its rapid growth and diverse domain coverage require systematic efforts in developing interactive tools for efficiently searching and summarizing current advances for acquiring knowledge and referencing, and for furthering scientific discovery. Although information retrieval systems exist, the conventional tools and systems remain difficult for biomedical investigators to use. There remain gaps even in the state-of-the-art systems as little attention has been devoted to understanding the needs of biomedical researchers. Our work attempts to bridge the gap between the needs of biomedical users and systems design efforts. We first study the needs of users and then design a simple visual analytic application tool, SEACOIN. A key motivation stems from biomedical researchers' request for a "simple interface" that is suitable for novice users in information technology. The system minimizes information overload, and allows users to search easily even in time-constrained situations. Users can manipulate the depth of information according to the purpose of usage. SEACOIN enables interactive exploration and filtering of search results via "metamorphose topological visualization" and "tag cloud," visualization tools that are commonly used in social network sites. We illustrate SEACOIN's usage through applications on PubMed publications on heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, and asthma.

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