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[bioontology-support] Possible cycling problems in MeSH

Bekhuis, Tanja tcb24 at
Thu Apr 7 13:59:18 PDT 2011


For the last few weeks I have been exploring the structure of several terminologies available via the NCBO BioPortal. As a consequence, I have become familiar with displays of trees in the left pane. So I was rather perplexed by the tree for MeSH as it appears in the portal.

I attached a brief document with 4 images: 2 from the NCBO BioPortal and 2 from the NLM online browser for comparison.

Notably, only 4 of the 16 categories display in the initial screen for MeSH in the portal. If I try to add a category that should be there, e.g. the Humanities category, topmost concepts repeat as one traverses the tree and the system 'hangs' when I try to explore further.

If you read through the attached document and compare the two sources, you will see odd discrepancies that suggest internal cycles in the NCBO version.

I would very much appreciate guidance regarding how to interpret your version of MeSH, as I had intended to use it in a research project underway.

Tanja Bekhuis, PhD, MS, MLIS

Postdoctoral Associate
Department of Biomedical Informatics / School of Medicine
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15232, USA
E-mail: tcb24 at
Phone at UPMC Shadyside:  +1 412-647-6705

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