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The Norwegian electronic health library - helping Norwegian health professionals in accessing English language resources

Date and Location




Monday 23 September 2013 - 10:30 - 12:00


Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author

Sarah Rosenbaum

Contact person

Sarah Rosenbaum
Abstract text
Background: A large part of the world’s accumulated knowledge about health care is published in the English language, including many of the highest quality resources. But people who are not native English speakers can have difficulty finding and reading documents in English, even if they are relatively fluent. For this reason, the Norwegian electronic health library identified language translation as one of the primary areas to promote access and use of high quality research and clinical support resources. Objectives: We wanted to make it possible for library users to enter search queries in Norwegian or English and retrieve search results for documents in both languages. We also wanted to promote international resources of high quality in search interface, without sacrificing easy access to important resources in Norwegian language. Methods and Results: • We developed an enterprise search solution that includes a translation dictionary function. This allows a person to search in Norwegian and also receive results from English language resources. • Search results from both Norwegian and English resources are compiled together on one page. • We developed several “spotlight” functions for presenting prioritized search results on the top of the search page, so that the highest quality and most preferred sources are easier to find quickly. • We manually translated over 200 patient leaflets (from BMJ Best Practice) from English to Norwegian for use in Norwegian health care context, and made them "findable" through the spotlight function. Conclusions and future developments: Translation is very time-consuming. Resources in English can also be made more accessible to users by improving the search functionality. The library is currently leading a project to translate MeSH to Norwegian, which will open new doors to transforming search queries into relevant results for our users.