Gene Golovchinsky at FXPAL has written a great series of posts on medical literature search, specifically looking at how MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) has been used to augment conventional text search, and whether its use improves the overall effectiveness of information seeking.
Here are the posts:
Even if you’re not specifically interested in medical literature search, I recommend you check these posts out. Much of the interesting work on information seeking is taking place in specialized domains like this one, where the value of getting it right offers far more promising returns than incremental improvements to general web search.
2 replies on “Great Series of Posts on Medical Literature Search”
No, medical searchers should just use the Google Health OneBox. What more do you need? Users like simple interfaces!
The attraction to me for looking at this space is that there are lots of people doing mission-critical information seeking, and they have developed expertise in the tools and in the collections. (Ever see a SIGIR paper that talks about collection expertise? How about expertise about what subdomains of a collection are well-covered by a thesaurus versus others that aren’t?) This sort of stuff if fascinating if you’re considering what it takes to build truly useful search systems and interfaces for recall-oriented and exploratory tasks.