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June 2008, Week 1


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Donna Berryman <[log in to unmask]>
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Donna Berryman <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 2 Jun 2008 10:20:42 -0400
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It's been awhile since I posted my original note to
the list about changes to PubMed's Automatic Term Mapping (ATM) and I have to
say I've been surprised by the apparent lack of interest and the obvious lack
of conversation about it.

I’ve had just four replies:

One wrote to say they have been seeing "Schema: pubmed_option3" in their PubMed History and wondered what that was all about (I don’ t know)One said they’d been unaware that anything had
been changedOne suggested I report my findings to NLMAnd one emailed me to tell me that she’d been
developing a complex search strategy for a particular purpose and one day it
was fine and the next it retrieved all sorts of off-target results thanks to
the “new” ATM

It’s that last comment that explains my concerns about the
changes to the way PubMed processes a query. Previously, ATM was subject
focused. Now, it’s moving towards key-word searching. This is a big change. 

If you haven’t already done so, I would encourage you to: 

Do the sample search for lung cancer; see the
citation sensor at work; LOOK in the Details box to see what PubMed did with
your search.Think about the implications of increasing retrieval
– in the lung cancer search, that was nearly 30,000 citations.Read the NLM Technical Bulletin article on the

 Let NLM know what you think about these changes. And let us
know, too.


Donna Berryman, MLISAssistant Director, Education & Information ServicesEdward G. Miner LibraryUniversity of Rochester Medical SchoolRochester, New York
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