Cochrane workshop on applying text mining to support study identification in public health reviews


NaCTeM is organising a workshop at the 24th Cochrane Colloquium, Seoul, Korea, to be held from 23rd -27th October 2016. The workshop will be organised in collaboration with the Public Health and Social Care Centre at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

Workshop Title

Text mining methods to support the development of sensitive search strategies in public health reviews


The workshop will cover text mining methods to support study identification in public health reviews. Specifically, we aim to: a) discuss limitations of conventional keyword-based search engines (e.g., PubMed) that are ill-suited to the development of sensitive search strategies, b) provide an overview of text mining methods for generating semantic metadata over large scale textual collections and c) demonstrate the use of semantically enriched search engines that enable interactive, exploratory searching of relevant evidence.


The unstructured and ambiguous nature of natural language in public health literature, poses a barrier to the accessibility and discovery of information. We will first discuss challenges to information discovery which are inherent in keyword-based search engines. We will then demonstrate potential solutions offered by semantic search systems, enhanced by text mining methods. The audience will be introduced to various semantic search features (e.g., faceted search, automatic query expansion, queries as natural language questions) and will be asked to construct complex queries using on-line semantic search systems. This will give the audience an appreciation of how text mining can support the development of sensitive search strategies. The intended outcome of this workshop is to highlight benefits and limitations of these emerging technologies. Participants are encouraged to bring laptops to try the on-line search systems.

Workshop facilitators

Sophia Ananiadou
Riza Batista-Navarro
Georgios Kontonatsios

Collaborators at NICE

Kay Nolan
Beth Shaw
Charlotte Haynes

Cochrane Colloquia

Founded in 1993, Cochrane is the largest global network of scientists, researchers, health policy makers, and consumer advocates dedicated to the production of systematic reviews of healthcare evidence.

Cochrane conducts annual conferences (Colloquia) in order to allow contributors, partners, researchers, and newcomers to meet, network, exchange ideas, and collaborate, with the purpose of advancing Cochrane's work in evidence-informed health care.

These annual Colloquia provide an opportunity to meet the ongoing challenges of producing, maintaining, and disseminating high-quality systematic reviews that address questions of importance to health globally, and in promoting evidence-informed health care.

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