University of Illinois at Chicago

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ADAM: Another Database of Abbreviations in MEDLINE

journal contribution
posted on 2006-11-14, 00:00 authored by Wei Zhou, Vetle I. Torvik, Neil R. Smalheiser
Motivation: Abbreviations are an important type of terminology in the biomedical domain. Although several groups have already created databases of biomedical abbreviations, these are either not public, or are not comprehensive, or focus exclusively on acronymtype abbreviations. We have created another abbreviation database, ADAM, which covers commonly used abbreviations and their definitions (or long-forms) within MEDLINE titles and abstracts, including both acronym and non-acronym abbreviations. Results: A model of recognizing abbreviations and their long forms from titles and abstracts of MEDLINE (2006 baseline) was employed. After grouping morphological variants, 59,405 abbreviation/ long-form pairs were identified. ADAM shows high precision (97.4%) and includes most of the frequently used abbreviations contained in the UMLS Lexicon and the Stanford Abbreviation Database. Conversely, one third of abbreviations in ADAM are novel insofar as they are not included in either database. About 19% of the novel abbreviations are non-acronym type and these cover at least 7 different types of short-form/long-form pairs. Availability: A free, public query interface to ADAM is available at, and the entire database can be downloaded as a text file. Contact:



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