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enrichment has helped one publisher in this area. ‘We recently worked with McGraw-Hill for more than two years to enrich their medical content and develop ClinicalAccess (www. clinicalaccess.com), a clinical decision support system designed to get medical professionals quickly to a very short snippet of content that answers their questions. ‘The deep semantic tagging of their content, combined with our medical thesaurus filled with hospital jargon, synonyms, acronyms, and abbreviations, allow us to handle complex queries and bring back snippets that contain the answer. ‘For example, for a query like “what is the utility of ABG in COPD?” (which was an actual query from user testing) we return a four-sentence snippet that says that in general the ABG test is not useful in the evaluation of COPD unless certain conditions are met (and then the snippet lists the conditions). Four sentences! Nothing more, nothing less. This is a huge advance from previous systems that would return a 20-page chapter on COPD and require a user to search within it to find their answer (what we call the “secondary search”). I see a future where semantic systems in medicine continue to get closer and closer to actually answering queries rather than just returning search results or large blocks of text.’


More generally, Zarnegar said he is seeing ‘two big trends with semantic applications that might seem to be contradictory on first blush, but are actually complementary. That is, semantic applications are tackling both expansive and reductive information problems.’


He explained: ‘One on hand, semantic enrichment allows large-scale content crawlers to understand more about the content they are crawling (mostly through the RDF framework)


There are many potential opportunities for semantic enrichment to enhance content further in future


and use that knowledge to find significant connections that may have never been noticed by a human before. Some of the most exciting science taking place today is in translational areas that combine the heretofore


separated


findings of different disciplines into new knowledge. If discipline content is semantically tagged, computers have a much better chance at finding those potential connections and surfacing them for researchers to explore. I consider this


expansive because it would be surfacing relevant content to the right people that they may never have found or considered without semantic connections.’


Mayer also summed up his predictions: ‘Today semantic enrichment is often used to provide a more compelling experience accessing content. In the future, we believe it will play a fundamental role in helping publishers organise knowledge, restructure the way it is packaged and consumed, placing the end-user and their preoccupations at the centre of the equation, and positioning themselves more as service providers rather than content providers. ‘Topic Pages are an example of how semantic enrichment helps build focused, thematic products that address particular needs of the end-user at a particular point in their workflow, for example helping them save time by accessing specific information when they need it, and actually helping them avoid “having to read” all of the corresponding literature. ‘In the future, items of knowledge currently “hidden in plain view” in literature can be extracted, aggregated and delivered as the core of publisher products, and the content itself can continue to play an essential, but not the only, role, in their offerings,’ he concluded.


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