Integrating findings of traditional medicine with modern pharmaceutical research: the potential role of linked open data

Matthias Samwald*, Michel Dumontier, Jun Zhao, Joanne S. Luciano, Michael Scott Marshall, Kei Cheung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


One of the biggest obstacles to progress in modern pharmaceutical research is the difficulty of integrating all available research findings into effective therapies for humans. Studies of traditionally used pharmacologically active plants and other substances in traditional medicines may be valuable sources of previously unknown compounds with therapeutic actions. However, the integration of findings from traditional medicines can be fraught with difficulties and misunderstandings. This article proposes an approach to use linked open data and Semantic Web technologies to address the heterogeneous data integration problem. The approach is based on our initial experiences with implementing an integrated web of data for a selected use-case, i.e., the identification of plant species used in Chinese medicine that indicate potential antidepressant activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43
JournalChinese Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Editorial

Cite this