The aims of this study are to determine, and to better understand, elements that are common across a range of bio-health information resources; and to characterize those resources in terms of search and display functionality. Our ultimate goal is to better define the role of bio-health information in clinical practice and in biological research. This paper reports our first step, which is to compare different web-based resources that describe cystic fibrosis. The resources came from PubMed, Nucleotide, EMBL-EBI, DDBJ, OMIM, MeSH, ICD-10, and the Cystic Fibrosis Mutation Database. We found obvious differences in terms of scope and purpose. However, while there were obvious similarities between related resources in terms of content, we also found differences among these resources in terms of display form, specificity of qualifiers, file format and the potential for computer processing. While our work is in its early stages, this study has clarified the nature of bio-health information resources and has allowed us to begin to characterize these resources in terms of their suitability in clinical practice and in biological research.
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