9º Congreso Mundial de Información en Salud y Bibliotecas

Salvador, Bahia - Brasil, 20 a 23 de septiembre de 2005


4a. Reunión de Coordinación Regional de la BVS

19 y 20 de septiembre de 2005

A model international cooperative project - the MeSH Translation Maintenance System


A model international cooperative project - the MeSH Translation Maintenance System

Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) is created and maintained by the US National Library of Medicine (NLM). It is a major biomedical vocabulary. It is used world-wide, by information scientists working in many languages. Over the last decade, an increasing number of translations of the MeSH have been prepared by centers outside the United States. Translations are used to index literature not indexed by the NLM as well as to provide native language interfaces to MEDLINE.  MeSH contains more than 23,000 descriptors and ten of thousands of entry vocabulary. It is produced annually, with numerous additions, changes, and deletions. Tracking these changes and maintaining consistency with the current version of MeSH is often a challenge for a translator.
 NLM has developed and implemented a concept-centered vocabulary ma intenance system for MeSH.  This system has been extended to create an interlingual database of translations. The MeSH Translation Maintenance System (MTMS) allows continual updating of the translations, as well as facilitating tracking of the changes within MeSH from one year to another. This system has been in use at several institutions for the last year. This paper summarizes the requirements set for the translation system, describes the design of the system, and reports on the first uses.
Technical support and computer resources used to manage and organize the translations data and produce the data in the format required by the translation partners are provided by the NLM with no expense to the translation partner. The translation partners provide their language expertise and local scientific knowledge in the intellectual tasks that form the content of the MTMS. Partners assume the responsibility of implementing the translations in their own systems.  This cooperative approach provides access t o current work on MeSH and reduces the costs of maintaining translation systems for the translators.