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1.  e-MIR2: a public online inventory of medical informatics resources 
Background
Over the past years, the number of available informatics resources in medicine has grown exponentially. While specific inventories of such resources have already begun to be developed for Bioinformatics (BI), comparable inventories are as yet not available for the Medical Informatics (MI) field, so that locating and accessing them currently remains a difficult and time-consuming task.
Description
We have created a repository of MI resources from the scientific literature, providing free access to its contents through a web-based service. We define informatics resources as all those elements that constitute, serve to define or are used by informatics systems, ranging from architectures or development methodologies to terminologies, vocabularies, databases or tools. Relevant information describing the resources is automatically extracted from manuscripts published in top-ranked MI journals. We used a pattern matching approach to detect the resources’ names and their main features. Detected resources are classified according to three different criteria: functionality, resource type and domain. To facilitate these tasks, we have built three different classification schemas by following a novel approach based on folksonomies and social tagging. We adopted the terminology most frequently used by MI researchers in their publications to create the concepts and hierarchical relationships belonging to the classification schemas. The classification algorithm identifies the categories associated with resources and annotates them accordingly. The database is then populated with this data after manual curation and validation.
Conclusions
We have created an online repository of MI resources to assist researchers in locating and accessing the most suitable resources to perform specific tasks. The database contains 609 resources at the time of writing and is available at http://www.gib.fi.upm.es/eMIR2. We are continuing to expand the number of available resources by taking into account further publications as well as suggestions from users and resource developers.
doi:10.1186/1472-6947-12-82
PMCID: PMC3441434  PMID: 22857741
Medical informatics; Cataloging; Classification; Software resources; Information storage and retrieval; Search engine; Database; Information management; Folksonomies; Social tagging
2.  A method for automatically extracting infectious disease-related primers and probes from the literature 
BMC Bioinformatics  2010;11:410.
Background
Primer and probe sequences are the main components of nucleic acid-based detection systems. Biologists use primers and probes for different tasks, some related to the diagnosis and prescription of infectious diseases. The biological literature is the main information source for empirically validated primer and probe sequences. Therefore, it is becoming increasingly important for researchers to navigate this important information. In this paper, we present a four-phase method for extracting and annotating primer/probe sequences from the literature. These phases are: (1) convert each document into a tree of paper sections, (2) detect the candidate sequences using a set of finite state machine-based recognizers, (3) refine problem sequences using a rule-based expert system, and (4) annotate the extracted sequences with their related organism/gene information.
Results
We tested our approach using a test set composed of 297 manuscripts. The extracted sequences and their organism/gene annotations were manually evaluated by a panel of molecular biologists. The results of the evaluation show that our approach is suitable for automatically extracting DNA sequences, achieving precision/recall rates of 97.98% and 95.77%, respectively. In addition, 76.66% of the detected sequences were correctly annotated with their organism name. The system also provided correct gene-related information for 46.18% of the sequences assigned a correct organism name.
Conclusions
We believe that the proposed method can facilitate routine tasks for biomedical researchers using molecular methods to diagnose and prescribe different infectious diseases. In addition, the proposed method can be expanded to detect and extract other biological sequences from the literature. The extracted information can also be used to readily update available primer/probe databases or to create new databases from scratch.
doi:10.1186/1471-2105-11-410
PMCID: PMC2923139  PMID: 20682041
3.  BIRI: a new approach for automatically discovering and indexing available public bioinformatics resources from the literature 
BMC Bioinformatics  2009;10:320.
Background
The rapid evolution of Internet technologies and the collaborative approaches that dominate the field have stimulated the development of numerous bioinformatics resources. To address this new framework, several initiatives have tried to organize these services and resources. In this paper, we present the BioInformatics Resource Inventory (BIRI), a new approach for automatically discovering and indexing available public bioinformatics resources using information extracted from the scientific literature. The index generated can be automatically updated by adding additional manuscripts describing new resources. We have developed web services and applications to test and validate our approach. It has not been designed to replace current indexes but to extend their capabilities with richer functionalities.
Results
We developed a web service to provide a set of high-level query primitives to access the index. The web service can be used by third-party web services or web-based applications. To test the web service, we created a pilot web application to access a preliminary knowledge base of resources. We tested our tool using an initial set of 400 abstracts. Almost 90% of the resources described in the abstracts were correctly classified. More than 500 descriptions of functionalities were extracted.
Conclusion
These experiments suggest the feasibility of our approach for automatically discovering and indexing current and future bioinformatics resources. Given the domain-independent characteristics of this tool, it is currently being applied by the authors in other areas, such as medical nanoinformatics. BIRI is available at .
doi:10.1186/1471-2105-10-320
PMCID: PMC2765974  PMID: 19811635
4.  Training Multidisciplinary Biomedical Informatics Students: Three Years of Experience 
Objective
The European INFOBIOMED Network of Excellence 1 recognized that a successful education program in biomedical informatics should include not only traditional teaching activities in the basic sciences but also the development of skills for working in multidisciplinary teams.
Design
A carefully developed 3-year training program for biomedical informatics students addressed these educational aspects through the following four activities: (1) an internet course database containing an overview of all Medical Informatics and BioInformatics courses, (2) a BioMedical Informatics Summer School, (3) a mobility program based on a ‘brokerage service’ which published demands and offers, including funding for research exchange projects, and (4) training challenges aimed at the development of multi-disciplinary skills.
Measurements
This paper focuses on experiences gained in the development of novel educational activities addressing work in multidisciplinary teams. The training challenges described here were evaluated by asking participants to fill out forms with Likert scale based questions. For the mobility program a needs assessment was carried out.
Results
The mobility program supported 20 exchanges which fostered new BMI research, resulted in a number of peer-reviewed publications and demonstrated the feasibility of this multidisciplinary BMI approach within the European Union. Students unanimously indicated that the training challenge experience had contributed to their understanding and appreciation of multidisciplinary teamwork.
Conclusion
The training activities undertaken in INFOBIOMED have contributed to a multi-disciplinary BMI approach. It is our hope that this work might provide an impetus for training efforts in Europe, and yield a new generation of biomedical informaticians.
doi:10.1197/jamia.M2488
PMCID: PMC2274784  PMID: 18096914
5.  INFOBIOMED: European Network of Excellence on Biomedical Informatics to Support Individualised Healthcare 
INFOBIOMED is an European Network of Excellence (NoE) funded by the Information Society Directorate-General of the European Commission (EC). A consortium of European organizations from ten different countries is involved within the network. Four pilots, all related to linking clinical and genomic information, are being carried out. From an informatics perspective, various challenges, related to data integration and mining, are included.
PMCID: PMC1560781  PMID: 16779328

Results 1-5 (5)