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A tutorial on information retrieval: basic terms and concepts

Wei Zhou1*, Neil R Smalheiser2 and Clement Yu1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Computer Science, University of Illinois at Chicago, 851 South Morgan Street, Chicago, IL 60607, USA

2 Department of Psychiatry and Psychiatric Institute, MC912, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612, USA

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Journal of Biomedical Discovery and Collaboration 2006, 1:2  doi:10.1186/1747-5333-1-2

Published: 13 March 2006


This informal tutorial is intended for investigators and students who would like to understand the workings of information retrieval systems, including the most frequently used search engines: PubMed and Google. Having a basic knowledge of the terms and concepts of information retrieval should improve the efficiency and productivity of searches. As well, this knowledge is needed in order to follow current research efforts in biomedical information retrieval and text mining that are developing new systems not only for finding documents on a given topic, but extracting and integrating knowledge across documents.