Spelling H-E-L-P for the Typographically Challenged – National Institutes of Health’s Web site has new built-in spellchecker

Spelling H-E-L-P for the Typographically Challenged – National Institutes of Health’s Web site has new built-in spellchecker – Brief Article

John Henkel

Let’s face it, for some of us, spelling is not our strong suit. But that’s okay when it comes to getting medical information–thanks to a new “spell-check” mechanism built into the search engine on the National Institutes of Health’s Web site (http://search.nih.gov). It allows users to conduct searches on terms even if words are misspelled. For example, let’s say you forget that the word “pneumonia” begins with a “p” and you do a search on “neumonia.” No problem. A pull-down menu will appear with the correct spelling, which you can choose and continue the search. Developer Dennis Rodriguez and his NIH team plan to refine the spell-check mechanism even further in the near future with interfaces that engage users in actual dialogue and direct them to what is likely the best response.

John Henkel is a member of FDA’s Web management staff.

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