All posts by Georgios Kontonatsios

Participation in panel session on evidence synthesis at ICHI 2016


Prof Sophia Ananiadou, Director of NaCTeM, will act as a panelist in a a special session entitled Evidence Synthesis – Current Practices and Future Possibilities to be held on October 5th, 2016, as part of the IEEE International Conference on Healthcare Informatics (ICHI 2016), to be held in Chicago, IL, USA.

Panel Chair

Neil R. Smalheiser, University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Medicine


Spyros Kitsiou, University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Medicine
Aaron M. Cohen, Oregon Health & Science University
Siddhartha Jonnalagadda, Microsoft
Byron Wallace, Northeastern University
Sophia Ananiadou, The University of Manchester, National Centre for Text Mining


This session has two main goals. First, it is designed to inform new investigators of the importance of automating evidence synthesis, and emphasize the potential for new research in this area. Second, it provides an opportunity for five of the leading laboratories across the US and UK to come together, to review the current state of the art, and discuss in detail the nuts-and-bolts of different technical approaches to overcoming the key challenges of evidence synthesis.

Dr. Kitsiou will give an overview of the different types of literature reviews and evidence synthesis approaches in health informatics, with emphasis on systematic reviews and meta-analyses, for those not in the field: discussing how they are generated, and the bottlenecks in generating them efficiently and with adequate quality. Dr. Cohen will give an overview of the efforts by laboratories worldwide to improve and automate the process of writing and updating systematic reviews in evidence-based medicine. Dr. Smalheiser will present his research in identifying relevant clinical trials to examine, whereas Drs. Jonnalagadda, Wallace, and Ananiadou will discuss and compare their approaches to extracting data from clinical trial articles. Finally, there will be guided general discussion to consider the scope, limitations and potential for text mining techniques to automate, streamline and re-engineer the largely manual process of writing systematic reviews.

More information…

NaCTeM at the Cochrane Colloquim (2016)

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.

More information…

NaCTeM at the Cochrane Colloquim (2015)

NaCTeM is attending the 23rd Cochrane Colloquim to be held in Vienna, Austria from the 3nd – 7th of October 2015 and co-organising a workshop session entitled “The present and future use of text mining for study identification” on the 5th of October.

Since 1993, Cochrane has been conducting annual conferences (Colloquia) in order to allow contributors, partners and newcomers to meet, network, stimulate,  learn from each other, and collaborate with the purpose of advancing Cochrane’s work in evidence-informed healthcare.