Animal Health in Semantic Web: Findability of Veterinary Medical Information in Finland.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


I days 2020 Oulu
Raisa Iivonen, Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland
Animal Health in Semantic Web: Findability of Veterinary Medical Information in Finland

1. Introduction and aim
In the context of One Health – relevant in current pandemic situation – Animal Health is a part of it. The practical work of veterinarians includes the control of zoonoses (diseases that can spread between animals and humans, such as flu, rabies and Covid19). In my Project I am investigating the information practices of Finnish veterinarians, i.e. the information needs and information seeking behaviour, the findings of the search results from available and accessible documents, and the assessment of the relevance of the search results to the practical workflow.
The key research question is how to make better findable the veterinary medical information with the help of ontologizing in the Finnish subject indexing landscape.
The aim of this project is to deepen the previous knowledge of veterinarians’ information seeking behavior as the basis for developing ontologies in the Semantic Web. That is required for a better findability by refining search tools and will serve both academic research and practicing fields of the veterinary business. Though a relatively good accessibility of scientific information in Finland, it is of no use if not discoverable.
2. Methods
Improving the findability of scientific information will be analysing the concepts used in describing the process. The underlying theories from where the current applications e.g. semantic web based on its "pillars" ontologies, have their roots in the philosophical and linguistic foundations from the 20th century. Therefore, I presume that a thorough scrutiny of the basic assumptions in semiotics, semantics and the theory of semantic information, will be useful when refining the availability of scientific information.

3. Case Veterinary terminology
Testing the working of scientific terminology in everyday practice of a veterinarian in Finland is done by interviewing practitioners. Preliminary investigations include studying the information practices of Finnish veterinarians, i.e. the information needs and information seeking behaviour.
The actual situation of Finto is described, the landscape of search technologies as well, including the semantic web.
4. Conclusions
Successful decision making based on high quality evidence – accessed rapidly – is required in contemporary clinical practice. Helping the busy vets in their literature search processes by creating solid and trustful literature research systems is the task of information specialists. The help of ontologies tailored to special user groups adds value to the great collection work information providers do. It is not possible to practice on evidence basis if evidence is not acquired. Availability is necessary, but without findability it is of no use. According to the key ideas of One Health Initiative the veterinarians should be able to share their responsibility to prevent the global threats
5. References
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Savolainen, R. 2018, "Information-Seeking Processes as Temporal Developments: Comparison of Stage-based and Cyclic Approaches", Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, vol. 69, no. 6, pp. 787-797.
Vandeweerd, Jean-Michel & al. 2012. Understanding Veterinary Practitioners' Decision-Making Process: Implications for Veterinary Medical Education. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, p. 142-150
Wareham, K.J. 2017, "Sample size and number of outcome measures of veterinary randomised controlled trials of pharmaceutical interventions funded by different sources, a cross-sectional study", BMC veterinary research, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 295.
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-88
Number of pages4
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed
EventInformaatiotutkimuksen päivät 2020 - Oulu, Finland
Duration: 5 Nov 20206 Nov 2020


  • Information Studies


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