Controlled Terminology Extension

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This article describes a proposed extension to the MIRCdocument schema for encoding controlled terms.

A MIRCdocument is an XML text stream that organizes teaching file text and resources (images, etc.) in sections roughly corresponding to the way a document would be viewed, with other (typically non-displayed) elements providing additional indexing capabilities. All text in a MIRCdocument is indexed.

The proposed extension is to allow text to be identified as a controlled term.

        coords=”x:xCoord, y:yCoord, z:zCoord, t:timeCoord”> 
            word or words

In this example, word or words is a controlled term. All the attributes of the term element are optional.

id is the lexicon's code for the term.
src is the URL of the page defining the term within the lexicon.
href may be used to associate this instance of the term with a specific resource (e.g., image).
coords may be used to specify a location in the referenced resource.


To make it easy to insert references to controlled terms in a document, the authoring mechanism must provide access to the terminology. The RSNA MIRC implementation would only provide a RadLex browser, but other authoring applications might provide access to other terminologies.

To support searches on controlled terms, the MIRCquery schema must also be extended. The use cases need to be defined. Three come immediately to mind:

  1. A user might simply indicate that the entire query is to search only controlled terms.
  2. A user might indicate that the entire query is to search only controlled terms from a specific scheme-name.
  3. A user might indicate that a specific term in a query must match only a specific controlled term.

The first two cases can be supported by adding attributes to the MIRCquery root element. The third would require extending the MIRCquery schema to allow a term element within each query field, identifying its contents as being a controlled term. To be a flexible solution, this element would support an id attribute, and to make it possible for the user to supply it, the query service would also have to provide access to the terminology.