JMIR Special Issue on Mining Online Health Reports - Call for Papers

Call for Papers

JMIR is inviting submissions for a special issue of the journal that will be dedicated to the topic of Mining Online Health Reports.

Online health information is widely published by individuals in social media, chat rooms and discussion boards. At the same time search query logs and various forms of text messaging contain a vast amount of textual information that can be directly or indirectly linked to health conditions. This informal evidence about our individual health, attitudes and behaviors has the potential to be a valuable source for health applications ranging from real-time disease monitoring, to prioritizing victim responses during disasters and detecting novel applications for drugs (see also previous Infodemiology, Infoveillance, and Pharmacovigilance papers in JMIR journals). Informal patient data on the Web is increasing, accessible, low cost, real-time and seems likely to cover a significant proportion of the population. Coupled with wearable body sensor data and the wealth of structured clinical data, it has the potential to offer insights leading to new lines of clinical investigation. However, in order to understand and integrate this data, researchers in academia and industry must grapple with theoretical, practical and ethical challenges that require immediate attention.

Following the journal’s scope and our 2017 Workshop (MOHRS 2017), we are seeking papers tha address any of the following four questions:

    • How can current sources of online health reports be characterized and what are the strengths and weaknesses of each?
    • How are online health reports being processed using NLP/IR/ML technologies and/or integrated into traditional forms of health data such as biomedical databases and patient records?
    • How is online health data being used in real-world case studies and field evaluations?

Topics include but are not limited to:

    • Novel adaptations of methods to online health data
    • Representation and integration of online health data
    • Quantitative evaluation using online health data
    • Open data sets related to online health
    • Social network analysis / community identification for health applications
    • Ethical/legal issues for online health data
    • Reliability/trust issues with online health data
    • Anonymisation and privacy preservation methods
    • Online health data applications
    • Theoretical underpinnings of online health techniques
    • Case studies and qualitative evaluations

Semantics and NLP/IR/ML models for online health data

Important Dates 

    • Submission Deadline: June 15th, 2017
    • Notification of initial decision to authors: approx.. August 15th, 2017
    • Final version of Paper Due: 8 weeks after initial decision (approx. October 15th, 2017)
    • Special Issue Publication Date: starting November 2017

All deadlines are 11:59pm EST.

Submission of Papers

You are invited to submit a full length manuscript of no more than 7,500 words.

Submitted papers should report new and original results that are unpublished elsewhere. Please prepare your manuscript with the template file and guidelines found at

Manuscripts should be sent through the online system at . In submission step 1, authors must choose the section “Special issue on Mining Online Health Reports” (Guest Editors: Collier, Cox, Limsopatham, Lampos, Culotta, Conway) (see also How do I submit to a theme issue?).

All submitted manuscripts will undergo a full peer review process consistent with usual rigorous editorial criteria for JMIR. Accepted papers will be published in JMIR, or may be transferred to JMIR Public Health and Surveillance, JMIR Medical Informatics, JMIR Mental Health, JMIR Human Factors, JMIR Res Protoc or another JMIR sister journal, according to focus and impact of the paper. All papers will appear together in an e-collection (theme issue) guest edited by the academics listed below. Papers rejected for the theme issue may still be considered for regular issues.

Please review the Fee Schedule and Fee FAQs prior to submission. As an open access journal JMIR and most of its’ sister journals (with some exceptions) will charge an Article Publication Charge (APC).

Articles accepted for this Special Issue will receive 20% discount on the APC.

Special Issue Editors

Nigel Collier

University of Cambridge, UK


Nut Limsopatham

Accenture Technology Labs, Ireland

Ingemar J. Cox

University College London, UK

Vasileios Lampos

University College London, UK

Aron Culotta

Illinois Institute of Technology, USA

Mike Conway

University of Utah, USA

For technical and submission questions please consult the JMIR Help Center and Knowledge Base.