Notes on ReleMed

A lot of bibliobloggers have been posting about ReleMed, but wanted to avoid doing so until I felt I understood it. ReleMed came up on MEDLIB-L recently and a good question was asked:

I tried it just now and I like that it shows a little bar graph of each articles' relevance, but I fail to see how it is different from HubMed (, which allows you to sort by date or relevance. Am I missing something?

I think I now understand ReleMed a bit, so I attempted to answer the question. You can judge for yourself how well I did.

The Krafty Librarian points to this recent article from Medical Design Online that is worth checking out for a brief introduction.

What I’d really like to see is this kind of relevance sorting added to the PubMed interface. I’d love to be able to search PubMed as I normally might, then sort results by ReleMed score. Something like this:

Barring that, it would be great if ReleMed allowed the user to choose between a variety of search interfaces, including one that works like PubMed’s. I think that might do a lot to encourage use by medical libraryfolk. The option of simple keyword- searching is nice to have, but it would be great to be able to apply ReleMed’s sorting power to a more expert search.

5 thoughts on “Notes on ReleMed

  1. You’re right that HubMed doesn’t check for co-occurrence at the sentence level. You can, however, use the Lucene query syntax to search for words that are within a certain distance of each other, eg “spleen migration”~10 searches for those terms within 10 words of each other.

  2. Medical Design Online has an article snippet, “U.Va. Researchers Create Google-Like Search Engine for Medical Literature” and the snippet refers to an article from the American Medical Informatics Association.

    I’m curious as to how ReleMed works since PubMed prohibits search engine robots. Is ReleMed working hand in hand with PubMed?

    Can you shed some light on how this works when each source page contains “index,nofollow,noarchive on them?

  3. Hi Vicki-

    Think of it this way: Even if the NLM allowed it, why would one want a bot to crawl and re-index such a massive chunk of already nicely structured data? It would be reinventing the wheel.

    Instead, third-party PubMed tools like these make use of the NCBI Entrez API.

    It appears to me that the folks behind ReleMed are not working hand-in-hand with the NLM, but rather that the NLM allows ReleMed to use the NLM’s data.

    Does that help?

    More here:

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