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01.03.2018 | Research | Sonderheft 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making 1/2018

Qcorp: an annotated classification corpus of Chinese health questions

BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making > Sonderheft 1/2018
Haihong Guo, Xu Na, Jiao Li
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12911-018-0593-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Health question-answering (QA) systems have become a typical application scenario of Artificial Intelligent (AI). An annotated question corpus is prerequisite for training machines to understand health information needs of users. Thus, we aimed to develop an annotated classification corpus of Chinese health questions (Qcorp) and make it openly accessible.


We developed a two-layered classification schema and corresponding annotation rules on basis of our previous work. Using the schema, we annotated 5000 questions that were randomly selected from 5 Chinese health websites within 6 broad sections. 8 annotators participated in the annotation task, and the inter-annotator agreement was evaluated to ensure the corpus quality. Furthermore, the distribution and relationship of the annotated tags were measured by descriptive statistics and social network map.


The questions were annotated using 7101 tags that covers 29 topic categories in the two-layered schema. In our released corpus, the distribution of questions on the top-layered categories was treatment of 64.22%, diagnosis of 37.14%, epidemiology of 14.96%, healthy lifestyle of 10.38%, and health provider choice of 4.54% respectively. Both the annotated health questions and annotation schema were openly accessible on the Qcorp website. Users can download the annotated Chinese questions in CSV, XML, and HTML format.


We developed a Chinese health question corpus including 5000 manually annotated questions. It is openly accessible and would contribute to the intelligent health QA system development.
Additional file 1: A brief introduction of the data source websites. This additional file is in PDF format. It contains a table that gives a brief introduction of the data source websites, including their abbreviation, Chinese name, English names, and description. (PDF 58 kb)
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