Gosh - I love technology! Think of an idea, and most likely someone's come up with an answer. Or at least a pretty awesome prototype.
This tool debuted in July 2008 as a project of the Krauthammer Lab of the Yale Pathology Informatics Department that specializes in text mining and translational informatics.
View this short narrated tutorial on how to search Yale Image Finder:
The Krauthammer Lab published a paper that describes their search algorithm:
ABSTRACT: Yale Image Finder (YIF) is a publicly accessible search engine featuring a new way of retrieving biomedical images and associated papers based on the text carried inside the images. Image queries can also be issued against the image caption, as well as words in the associated paper abstract and title. A typical search scenario using YIF is as follows: a user provides few search keywords and the most relevant images are returned and presented in the form of thumbnails. Users can click on the image of interest to retrieve the high resolution image. In addition, the search engine will provide two types of related images: those that appear in the same paper, and those from other papers with similar image content. Retrieved images link back to their source papers, allowing users to find related papers starting with an image of interest. Currently, YIF has indexed over 140,000 images from over 34,000 open access biomedical journal papers.