Title

A Comprehensive Information Resource on Traditional, Complementary, and Alternative Medicine: Toward an International Collaboration

Publication Title

Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine

Publication Date

2001

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.1089/10755530152755289

Keywords

comprehensive information resource, traditional medicine, complementary medicine, alternative medicine, international collaboration

Disciplines

Library and Information Science

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

A prototype for a comprehensive information resource for traditional complementary and alternative medicine (TCAM) has been developed to fill the considerable needs of a broad audience for worldwide access to TCAM information. The proposed resource is to be a comprehensive, vocabulary-controlled, integrated, standardized, multimedia information resource for TCAM. It will facilitate international cooperation, promote synergistic development of individual resources, promote dissemination of TCAM knowledge, and map the interrelationships among the TCAM traditions.

METHODS:

We organized two workshops for representatives of international databases that contain significant information on various aspects of alternative medicine. For the first workshop, we prepared and demonstrated a prototype named Complementary and Alternative Medicine Digital Library (CAMed) to illustrate the anticipated structure, content, and functionality of the comprehensive resource. We then constructed a second prototype to demonstrate the possibilities of searching across the collaborating databases and presented it to the representatives at the second workshop.

OUTCOMES:

Representatives of nine international databases attended the two workshops, in Bangalore, India (1998), and in Seoul, Korea (1999). We presented the prototypes at the workshops. Prototype I uses a Web interface, and supports browsing and searching from a variety of access points. Prototype II demonstrates a functional system that provides simultaneous access to selected represented databases by searching thesauri of these databases through our system. The group formalized itself as the International Collaboration for Information on Complementary and Traditional Medicine (IC2TM) with a goal of fully realizing the potential of the project.