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Bonnie Snow

Bonnie Snow is the Director of InfoDesk PharmaIntelligence.

Email: bonnie.snow@infodesk.com

Author's Posts

How does Semantic Search Differ from Traditional Keyword Searching?

by Bonnie Snow on Dec 11, 2018 11:44:54 AM

This comparison focuses on search capabilities for retrieval of biopharmaceutical data on federated search platforms intended to provide simultaneous access to multiple information resources.

Differences in Query-Building Capabilities

A keyword search retrieves only those documents containing the terms entered by the user. Results are likely to be incomplete, unless the query includes multiple variant, but synonymous, terms that could refer to the same concept in published documents. For example, a thorough search for articles citing the medical condition commonly known as “GERD” could not rely solely on the abbreviation to retrieve all relevant publications. Adding alternative terms to the query, such as “gastroesophageal reflux” OR “gastro-oesophageal reflux” OR “esophageal reflux” OR “acid reflux,” would find many more articles. Basic requirements for creation of effective search strategies dependent on keywords alone are:

  •  The user has prior knowledge of the subject under investigation
  •  The ability to anticipate variant language likely to be used in relevant documents

On the other hand, Semantic Search can simplify query building, because it’s supported by automated natural language processing programs that draw upon a knowledgebase of predefined vocabularies. These built-in “dictionaries” (also known as “ontologies”) enable a Semantic Search platform to recognize and interpret terminology typically found in user queries. Behind the scenes, keywords entered are cross-checked in the ontologies and all synonyms associated with the concept specified in the user’s query are automatically added as alternative terms to enhance retrieval.

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Topics: Ontologies, semantic search

Updating the Zika Product Pipeline

by Bonnie Snow on Mar 23, 2016 3:00:00 AM

More Drugs in Development Than Previously Reported

There are more drugs in development for potential treatment or prevention of Zika virus infections than those identified in WHO’s Product Landscape list published on March 3, 2016. According to data currently available in pipeline databases, there are at least 28 product candidates now under investigation by 26 organizations worldwide, compared to the 18 active programs included in the World Health Organization’s report. Time lag in public announcements by prospective developers of their intent to initiate new Zika research only partially accounts for differences in landscape surveys. A week-by-week tally of new drugs entering the pipeline in 2016 shows that information about 21 prospective Zika products was added to at least one of four major pipeline databases before February 29th—as is illustrated in a timeline graph (Figure 1) in the attached InfoDesk PharmaIntelligence report.

Download Free 16-page Zika Pipeline Update

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Topics: PipelinePlus, Drug Pipeline, Zika Pipeline Update

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