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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: David M. Liebovitz, MD (Northwestern Memorial Hospital)
Description: This book provides informatics students with a foundation in the primary concepts used in knowledge management. Use of these concepts is then illustrated through case examples.
Purpose: The purpose is to complement introductory medical informatics textbooks and focus on biomedical knowledge management for professionals and researchers. This book is needed clarify the concepts and practices used behind the scenes to bring useful knowledge to researchers and caregivers. This book met the authors' objectives.
Audience: According to the authors, this book is directed to a large potential audience. It could serve as a graduate level textbook in informatics; health computing courses in medical, nursing and pharmacy schools would benefit; library science departments would find the book useful for courses; and it would likely provide reference value for researchers and biomedical professionals. These groups truly represent the likely users. The authors are credible authorities.
Features: The book includes foundation material in knowledge management and data mining. Subjects such as ontologies, vocabularies, and biomedical knowledge mapping are included with examples. Various techniques in data mining are explored. Examples from clinical medicine and literature searching to biomedical research are included. Web sites for additional material integrated into chapters are useful. An index of all web sites referenced in the book would have been helpful. Some of the reported work is supported by grants and references are included. The chapters adhere to a consistent organizational framework that includes an overview and questions for discussion. Several figures use black text on a gray background, making it difficult to read.
Assessment: The book is useful beyond the level of an introductory informatics text. Importantly, definitions of key bioinformatics concepts with detailed examples will be useful to readers from diverse backgrounds.