NLMplus is an award winning semantic search and discovery application, developed by WebLib LLC, a small business in Maryland, in response to a challenge contest by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) to make use of NLM’s vast collection of biomedical data and services for the benefit of the Library’s diverse worldwide user communities - view the NLM Show Off Your Apps Awards Ceremony

A short video about NLMplus

NLMplus makes synergistic use of a variety of novel solutions and technologies to maximally utilize NLM’s downloadable data sets, APIs, web services and software tools.
NLMplus provides a new level of universal access to the National Library of Medicine’s rich and high quality content via a simple and an intuitive user interface.
Users will find information on Health Topics (Medlineplus Health Topics); PubMed Reviews (More than 1.6 million PubMed review articles and meta-analyses semantically indexed and searched by WebLib’s Semantic Search and Discovery Engine); Pubmed Abstracts (via semantically enhanced queries sent to NLM’s PubMed search service); NLM Databases (concurrent access to 60 NLM databases via WebLib’s PolyMeta federated search engine); Drugs and Supplements (NLM’s Drug Information Portal and Medlineplus Drugs & Supplements databases); News (Medlineplus News); Videos and Tutorials (Medlineplus Videos and Tutorials) and Images (images from NLM’s History of Medicine and PubChem databases).

NLMplus integrates a number of innovative resources and solutions

The Biomedical Knowledge Base

  • The NLMplus discovery engine is powered by WebLib’s Biomedical Knowledge Base (BKB) web service to support user exploration and discovery of health concerns, treatments and procedures, drugs and supplements, alternative medicine approaches and other biomedical entities and concepts of interest
  • The more than four million BKB concepts are automatically generated from trusted biomedical content on the Web, including subsets of NLM’s Pubmed and Medlineplus databases and semantic resources, such as NLM’s Unified Medical Language System and the MeSH Medical Subject Headings Thesaurus
  • The BKB employs Web Data Mining for the automatic identification and extraction of
    • Related Concepts
    • Signs and Symptoms
    • Tests and Diagnostic Procedures
    • Disorders
    • Treatments
    • Alternative and Complementary Medicine
    • Genes, biomarkers and other biomedical concepts
  • The Biomedical Knowledge Base facilitates focused drill-down in the retrieved results and dynamic query modification

Semantic Indexing of the PubMed Reviews database

  • NLMplus uses the Solr/Lucene open source enterprise search engine with
  • WebLib’s proprietary semantic indexing technology for the automatic identification of
    • Key Title phrases
    • Key Abstract phrases and
    • MESH Qualifier terms
  • The key phrases are mapped to UMLS concepts and other concepts in the Biomedical Knowledge Base

Semantic Search

  • The NLMplus Pubmed Reviews downloaded database is searched using the WebLib semantic search and knowledge engine
  • The WebLib Semantic Search Engine integrates the Solr/Lucene open source enterprise search engine with WebLib’s Semantic Query Translator and Biomedical Knowledge Base web services
  • NLMplus searches NLM’s Pubmed Database by sending semantically enhanced Boolean queries directly to the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed search service

Federated Search

  • WebLib’s PolyMeta Distributed Meta-Search and Discovery Engine simultaneously searches 60 NLM databases and on several different NLM search platforms

Applied Natural Language Processing Tools and Applications

  • WebLib’s proprietary NLP tools
    • Part-of-speech Tagger
    • Noun Phrase Chunker
    • Semantic Parser
    • A-Z-Search (Knowledge Search Engine)
    • KnowledgeMap (Biomedical Knowledge Base and UMLS semantic annotation web service)
    • PolySpell (Scientific and Medical SpellChecker)
    • AutoComplete (Query concepts look-ahead display)

Web 2.0-3.0 User Interface Design

  • accommodates a wide spectrum of diverse NLM user communities, including the public, biomedical researchers, clinicians, health care providers and policy and decision makers
  • extensive use of AJAX (Asynchronous Javascript) Web 2.0 tools and techniques for optimal performance
    • The right hand panel of the search results page dynamically displays the first record in each search category
    • The NLM Databases results page shows the hit counts of the user’s query in 60 NLM databases. The hit count links allow the user to fully exploit the power and functionalities of NLM’s diverse databases and specialized search platforms
  • Web 3.0 Semantic Web and Semantic Search solutions for increased precision and relevance in search results