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Structured Abstracts in MEDLINE: Implementation Based on a Retrospective Cohort Study

Thursday, October 11, 2012 — Poster Session IV

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Natcher Conference Center, Building 45




  • LS Knecht
  • JM Rozier
  • AM Ripple
  • JG Mork


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Structured abstracts are abstracts with distinct, labeled sections (e.g., RESULTS). Nearly a quarter of all abstracts added to MEDLINE® are structured. To enhance opportunities for information display, retrieval, and discovery, NLM has implemented this structure in its XML. METHODS: Starting with the 2011 MEDLINE/PubMed® baseline files, the NLMMedlineCitationSet DTD and MEDLINE/PubMed XML accommodate segmented structured abstracts as a part of NLM data dissemination. Two new attributes, Label and NlmCategory, were added to the DTD AbstractText element. The Label attribute contains a valid label name found in published structured abstracts; the NlmCategory attribute contains a ‘parent’ concept (BACKGROUND, OBJECTIVE, METHODS, RESULTS, CONCLUSIONS) to which the published Label name is mapped at NLM. CONCLUSIONS: MEDLINE licensees are able conduct experiments and implement new search, data mining, and display functionality. Since August 2010, citations with structured abstracts have been reformatted for easier readability in the MEDLINE/PubMed database. NLM plans to experiment with the segmented abstracts and the MTI (Medical Text Indexer) software application that parses journal article titles and abstracts to suggest possible MeSH terms for the human indexer to select.

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