Authors: Folk LC
Publications:  2004;:
Species: General information systems
Diseases: Information Systems
The Veterinary Medical Database (VMDB), originally established by the National Cancer Institute to track cases of veterinary cancer, contains more of more than forty years. This represents a significant repository of information potentially useful in epidemiologic research and the development of evidence-based standards for veterinary practice. However, the utility of the database is currently diminished by an out-of-date controlled terminology, an antiquated file format, and the absence of a direct user interface. These technical shortcomings constitute an impediment to the effective use of the data already deposited in the database and a barrier to the addition of new records. We analyzed and suggested solutions for each of the VMDB's three problems. We examined the controlled terminology currently in use and experimentally demonstrated the feasibility of mapping it to an up-to-date nomenclature. We examined the current file format and developed a modern relational alternative designed to facilitate query access to the data. We examined the interface by which users' query requests currently are fulfilled, experimentally assessed the current users' query requirements, and proposed modifications to the current interface to enhance its usefulness to its users. Finally, we used bibliometric techniques to assess the extent to which the VMDB has contributed to scientific and public knowledge during its existence. We discovered a small but influential body of published research based upon VMDB data and a surprisingly wide-spread public awareness of the database.
Date Created : 4/4/2009
Date Updated : 4/4/2009
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Allen W. Hahn and Kate Anderson