Ambiguity and variability of database and software names in bioinformatics

Duck, G., Kovacevic, A., Robertson, D. L. , Stevens, R. and Nenadic, G. (2015) Ambiguity and variability of database and software names in bioinformatics. Journal of Biomedical Semantics, 6, 29. (doi:10.1186/s13326-015-0026-0) (PMID:26131352) (PMCID:PMC4485340)

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Background: There are numerous options available to achieve various tasks in bioinformatics, but until recently, there were no tools that could systematically identify mentions of databases and tools within the literature. In this paper we explore the variability and ambiguity of database and software name mentions and compare dictionary and machine learning approaches to their identification. Results: Through the development and analysis of a corpus of 60 full-text documents manually annotated at the mention level, we report high variability and ambiguity in database and software mentions. On a test set of 25 full-text documents, a baseline dictionary look-up achieved an F-score of 46 %, highlighting not only variability and ambiguity but also the extensive number of new resources introduced. A machine learning approach achieved an F-score of 63 % (with precision of 74 %) and 70 % (with precision of 83 %) for strict and lenient matching respectively. We characterise the issues with various mention types and propose potential ways of capturing additional database and software mentions in the literature. Conclusions: Our analyses show that identification of mentions of databases and tools is a challenging task that cannot be achieved by relying on current manually-curated resource repositories. Although machine learning shows improvement and promise (primarily in precision), more contextual information needs to be taken into account to achieve a good degree of accuracy.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Robertson, Professor David
Authors: Duck, G., Kovacevic, A., Robertson, D. L., Stevens, R., and Nenadic, G.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:Journal of Biomedical Semantics
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN (Online):2041-1480
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 Duck et al.
First Published:First published in Journal of Biomedical Semantics 6: 29
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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