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November 07, 2008 [posted]

UMLS® Basics Tutorial

graphical image of the letter T

The NLM® is pleased to announce the debut of the new Unified Medical Language System® (UMLS) Basics tutorial. This Web-based resource was developed from the UMLS Basics class that is taught at NLM and is useful to the entry level UMLS user. With the new UMLS Basics tutorial, NLM now offers introductary UMLS training that is always available at our users' convenience.

The course is divided into six sections. The sections are further organized by different topic areas (see table below). "Next" and "Previous" arrows allow users to navigate through the sections and topics. Users can either go through the entire course or select individual sections for a refresher.

UMLS Basics Tutorial Topics

Section Topic
  • Overview of the UMLS
  • UMLS License Agreement


  • Metathesaurus
  • Data Files

Semantic Network

  • Semantic Network
  • Semantic Types
  • Semantic Relationships

Lexical Tools

  • SPECIALIST Lexicon
  • Lexical Tools

UMLS Tools

  • UMLS Tools
  • UMLS Knowledge Source Server
  • MetamorphoSys
  • UMLS Community
  • Database Tools
  • Rich Release Format Subset Browser

User Support

  • Customer Service Information

A glossary of terms, link to the UMLS FAQ, and links to UMLS-relevant Web pages are other useful features of this course.

UMLS Quick Tours
Users are reminded that the first UMLS Quick Tour "MetamorphoSys RRF Browser Restrict Searches and Views Option" is available on the New Users' Guide to the UMLS page. The tutorial offers a narrated guide to the many options available that restrict both searches and views in the RRF Browser.

Additional courses, such as a MetamorphoSys tutorial, as well as additional Quick Tours are being planned. We encourage comments and suggestions for further topics. Please send comments, suggestions, and questions to

UMLS Basics Class
The eight-hour UMLS Basics class is still offered at the NLM. The next class with open seats is on April 16, 2009. More information about the class is available from the National Training Center and Clearinghouse Web site.

By Rachel Kleinsorge
MEDLARS Management Section

Kleinsorge R. UMLS® Basics Tutorial. NLM Tech Bull. 2008 Nov-Dec;(365):e2.

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