Comments by Donald Lindberg, National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, Md.
"Since 1986, there has been an attempt to create knowledge sources on computers to be used by 'intelligent' programs and subsequently by intelligent people," recounts Donald Lindberg, director of the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Md.
PERSEVERENCE PAYS: Donald Lindberg of the National Library of Medicine attributes UMLS's popularity to the tenacity of the project's scientists and to the Internet.
"One of the major obstacles in achieving this end was that there are many different ways to express the same biomedical concepts," he relates. "The Unified Medical Language System_UMLS_was begun as an effort to improve the ability of computer programs to 'understand' queries by different people using different terminologies." The underlying motive in the...