A Multilingual Browser Platform for Medical Subject Headings

26 January, 2022

Dear HIFA colleagues,

'The National Library of Medicine (NLM) controls and publishes the thesaurus Medical Subject Headings which is used for indexing PubMed. Besides an XML export, the NLM offers a web based MeSH browser. The platform contains English terms. The German Institute for Medical Documentation and Information (DIMDI) partially translated and published these terms.

'Recently, the German National Library of Medicine (ZB-MED) overtook the translation of MeSH. However, there is no dedicated platform which focuses on MeSH and covers multiple languages. Here, we address this gap, by offering a modern multilingual searchable MeSH browser. A modular platform using open source technology is presented. The frontend enables the user to search and browse terms and switch between different languages. The current version of the presented MeSH browser contains English and German MeSH terms and can be accessed at https://mesh-browser.de.

Keywords: Databases; MeSH-Browser; Medical Subject Headings; Web Service

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3233/SHTI210939

URL: http://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35062172

COMMENT (NPW): The platform is specifically English-German and does not include other languages. There is a greater need globally for languages such as French, Portuguese and Spanish. The paper does not address these, although it notes 'the abandoned work of the French MeSH Browser'. The above model has the potential to be replicated in other languages.

Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator, neil@hifa.org www.hifa.org