Health and Biomedical Information

  • William Hersh
Part of the Health Informatics book series (HI)

Chapter 1 defined the basic terminology of information retrieval (IR) and presented some models of the use of IR systems. Before proceeding with the details of IR systems, however, it is worthwhile to step back and consider the more fundamental aspects of information, especially as it is used in the health and biomedical domain. In this chapter, the topic of information itself will be explored by looking at what it consists of and how it is produced and used. Consideration of this topic allows a better understanding of the roles as well as the limitations of IR systems.

2.1 What Is Information?

The notion of information is viewed differently by different people. The American Heritage Dictionary offers a number of different definitions that include the following:
  • Knowledge derived from study, experience, or instruction.

  • Knowledge of specific events or situations that has been gathered or received by communication; intelligence or news. See synonyms at knowledge.

  • A collection of facts or...


Health Information Impact Factor Information Retrieval System Primary Literature Secondary Literature 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Hersh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical Informatics & Clinical EpidemiologyOregon Health & Science UniversityBICC PortlandUSA

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