SAPHIRE International: a tool for cross-language information retrieval.

W. R. Hersh, L. C. Donohoe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The world's foremost medical literature is written in English, yet much of the world does not speak English as a primary language. This has led to increasing research interest in cross-language information retrieval, where textual databases are queried in languages other than the one in which they are written. We describe enhancements to the SAPHIRE concept-retrieval system, which maps free-text documents and queries to concepts in the UMLS Metathesaurus, that allow it to accept text input and provide Metathesaurus concept output in any of six languages: English, German, French, Russian, Spanish, and Portuguese. An example of the use of SAPHIRE International is shown in the CliniWeb catalogue of clinically-oriented Web pages. A formative evaluation of German terms shows that additional work is required in handling plural and other suffix variants as well as expanding the breadth of synonyms in the UMLS Metathesaurus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)673-677
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings / AMIA ... Annual Symposium. AMIA Symposium
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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