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List of contacts

Do you have any questions about ZB MED`s services or the range of literature we offer? Or maybe you need some tips on how to run searches in LIVIVO?

Phone: +49 (0)221 478-5685

Cologne Site

Medicine and Health

ZB MED – Information Centre for Life Sciences
Gleueler Straße 60
50931 Cologne (Köln)

Bonn Site

Nutritional, Environmental and Agricultural Sciences

ZB MED – Information Centre for Life Sciences
Friedrich-Hirzebruch-Allee 4
53115 Bonn




An infrastructure and research centre for data and information in the life sciences.

Open + FAIR

We promote open, reproducible research based on the principles of open science and FAIR data.

ZB MED's terminology services for the life sciences

A terminology is a set of terms that represents the system of concepts of a particular subject area. To define the meaning of each term as precisely as possible, we make use of definitions, synonyms and supplementary information. Terminologies can be organised hierarchically in the form of a thesaurus or formulated as an ontology with formal semantic concepts and relations to represent domain knowledge. Thanks to its clear structure and definitions, a terminology can help us communicate efficiently and effectively within a specific discipline or sphere. It provides the basis for knowledge transfer and is an indispensable tool for linguistic quality assurance in areas such as teaching, research and knowledge management. Terminologies are also used in computer programmes to categorise content by subject matter and compare different sets of digital content. Terminologies can also be used to semantically index data and literature and make them interoperable. Terminological data must be regularly maintained and updated.


The development and usage of terminologies forms a key part of ZB MED’s work as Germany's central information centre for life sciences. ZB MED regularly develops new tools and launches new services in this field:


The German MeSH

ZB MED is responsible for translating the Medical Subject Headings as bilingual versions. Users in German-speaking countries can then download and use these versions, which are made available as FAIR data.

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TermCurator is a new translation tool developed by ZB MED which works with a variety of terminologies and languages. Its intuitive, web-based interface makes it easy for curators to check and revise terms that were previously translated using machine translation. TermCurator also includes an additional enhanced view for the lead curator to assist with quality assurance tasks.

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ZBMED’s SEMLOOKP semantic lookup service

SEMLOOKP is a repository for biomedical terminologies and ontologies. Its search function provides one-stop access to the latest versions of each resource. As well as enabling users to search by concept and acquire information on the various concepts, SEMLOOKP also offers an advanced search option that can find equivalent concepts in other terminologies and list all the entries in a subtree.

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