Focus On: STM: Keeping Dr. Google Away
The driver of ClinicalKey is its semantic search algorithm. The goal of semantic search is to improve search results based on context and user intention. Built into ClinicalKey are 250,000 terms and 4 million semantic relationships within those terms, which are constantly being tested and updated. Because tags need to point to clinically relevant answers—and do so 98 percent of the time, Donohue says—the system is designed to learn from every search conducted, mainly by monitoring the number of steps taken by searchers to reach desired content. In addition, doctors are asked on an ongoing basis what responses should be for different queries in specific disciplines, which helps to improve and refine the algorithm.
Beyond semantic search, other tools are built in with an eye to how doctors actually conduct their day-to-day business. Elsevier's research found, for instance, that 20 percent of the research done on ClinicalKey and products like it (such as Wolters-Kluwer's UpToDate, see p. 29) is undertaken for presentations. As a result, Elsevier allows researchers to easily discover images and put them directly into powerpoint format with caption and rights information included. "This has been wildly received by our physicians," Donohue says. "If you can't find the image you want in the Elsevier database, it probably doesn't exist."
New journal content is constantly drawn into ClinicalKey through back-end CMS processes. "Every day the whole database is updated, and it's constantly being crawled for re-indexing, so a new journal article … goes right into the database," he says. By the end of the year, plans call for continuous updates of the top 200 books in Elsevier's catalogue through integration with the company's Expert Consult platform, which handles updates of the e-editions of these books.
Sophisticated tools for saving searches allow doctors to pull books and articles into personalized reading lists and email them to colleagues. While currently Web-based, iPad and mobile versions of ClinicalKey are planned for release before the end of the year. In developing these products, doctors were asked about their needs and "pain points" with mobile interaction (desired type size, when and where utilized, etc.)