Introducing Gastroenterology Tag Ontology

In 2016, the Gastroenterology Tag Ontology (GTO) was developed to better curate and co-localize academic discussion on Twitter, following the lead of our Urology, Radiology, and Hematology/Oncology colleagues at the time. A total of 9 leading GI, GI surgical societies, and 6 journals on Twitter at the time participated in generating a list of hashtags, see table below. These hashtags could be loosely categorized into 10 general gastroenterological subtopics including cancer-related, endoscopy, functional disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, liver, motility disorders, pancreas, pediatrics, small bowel disease, and other. The consensus list of hashtags were published in a June 2016 American Journal of Gastroenterology article by @austinchiangmd, @doctor_v, and @brennanspiegel.

The generation of this hashtag list highlighted various interesting conundrums, aside from the expected challenges of achieving consensus among various society and journal representatives. First, some conditions were represented by well-established hashtags despite their perceived appropriateness by GI stakeholders (e.g. #pancSM versus #pancreaticcancer given the previously published oncologic ontology). Similarly, certain conditions were represented by multiple hashtags (e.g. #Crohns and #CrohnsDisease). Secondly, differences in international spelling also resulted in redundant hashtags (e.g. #celiacdisease vs. #coeliac) and the active decision to limit redundancy (e.g. eliminating #coeliacdisease and keeping only #celiacdisease). Thirdly, conflicting hashtag acronyms often competed with the desire to shorten hashtags length to preserve simplicity while respecting the 140-character limit at the time (e.g. #EUS was already used frequently in other non-medical purposes, therefore #endoscopicultrasound was adopted).

The GI tag ontology is meant to serve as a framework for academic discussion as a dynamic document that reflects evolving discourse online and new hashtags that may arise in the future.

Gastroenterological social media stakeholders endorsing Gastroenterology Tag Ontology

Societies and organizations
American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD)@AASLDtweets
American College of Gastroenterology (ACG)@AmCollegeGastro
American Gastroenterological Association (AGA)@AmerGastroAssn
American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE)@ASGEendoscopy
Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA)@CCFA
Clinical Gastroenterology & Hepatology (CGH)NA
Digestive Disease Week (DDW)@DDWMeeting
Society of Amercian Gastrointestinal and Endo- scopic Surgeons (SAGES)@SAGES_Updates
United European Gastroenterology (UEG)@my_ueg
Peer-reviewed journals
American Journal of GastroenterologyNA
GastroenterologyNA
Gastrointestinal Endoscopy@GIE_Journal
Gut@Gut_BMJ
Journal of Hepatology@JHepatology
Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology@NatRevGastroHep


Austin Chiang MD MPH

Austin Chiang MD MPH - @AustinChiangMD

Advanced Endoscopist, Clin Asst Professor. Director, Endoscopic Bariatric Program. Chief Medical Social Media Officer at @TJUHospital. Triple board certified.

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