Biotea: semantics for Pubmed Central

Authors : Alexander Garcia​, Federico Lopez, Leyla Garcia, Olga Giraldo, Victor Bucheli, Michel Dumontier

A significant portion of biomedical literature is represented in a manner that makes it difficult for consumers to find or aggregate content through a computational query. One approach to facilitate reuse of the scientific literature is to structure this information as linked data using standardized web technologies.

In this paper we present the second version of Biotea, a semantic, linked data version of the open-access subset of PubMed Central that has been enhanced with specialized annotation pipelines that uses existing infrastructure from the National Center for Biomedical Ontology.

We expose our models, services, software and datasets. Our infrastructure enables manual and semi-automatic annotation, resulting data are represented as RDF-based linked data and can be readily queried using the SPARQL query language.

We illustrate the utility of our system with several use cases. Our datasets, methods and techniques are available at

URL : Biotea: semantics for Pubmed Central


Data Sharing and Cardiology : Platforms and Possibilities

AuthorsPranammya DeyJoseph S. RossJessica D. RitchieNihar R. DesaiSanjeev P. Bhavnani, Harlan M. Krumholz

Sharing deidentified patient-level research data presents immense opportunities to all stakeholders involved in cardiology research and practice. Sharing data encourages the use of existing data for knowledge generation to improve practice, while also allowing for validation of disseminated research.

In this review, we discuss key initiatives and platforms that have helped to accelerate progress toward greater sharing of data. These efforts are being prompted by government, universities, philanthropic sponsors of research, major industry players, and collaborations among some of these entities.

As data sharing becomes a more common expectation, policy changes will be required to encourage and assist data generators with the process of sharing the data they create.

Patients also will need access to their own data and to be empowered to share those data with researchers. Although medicine still lags behind other fields in achieving data sharing’s full potential, cardiology research has the potential to lead the way.



Understanding the Changing Roles of Scientific Publications via Citation Embeddings

Authors : Jiangen He, Chaomei Chen

Researchers may describe different aspects of past scientific publications in their publications and the descriptions may keep changing in the evolution of science. The diverse and changing descriptions (i.e., citation context) on a publication characterize the impact and contributions of the past publication.

In this article, we aim to provide an approach to understanding the changing and complex roles of a publication characterized by its citation context. We described a method to represent the publications’ dynamic roles in science community in different periods as a sequence of vectors by training temporal embedding models.

The temporal representations can be used to quantify how much the roles of publications changed and interpret how they changed.

Our study in the biomedical domain shows that our metric on the changes of publications’ roles is stable over time at the population level but significantly distinguish individuals. We also show the interpretability of our methods by a concrete example.


A review of data sharing statements in observational studies published in the BMJ: A cross-sectional study

Authors : Laura McDonald, Anna Schultze, Alex Simpson, Sophie Graham, Radek Wasiak, Sreeram V. Ramagopalan

In order to understand the current state of data sharing in observational research studies, we reviewed data sharing statements of observational studies published in a general medical journal, the British Medical Journal.

We found that the majority (63%) of observational studies published between 2015 and 2017 included a statement that implied that data used in the study could not be shared. If the findings of our exploratory study are confirmed, room for improvement in the sharing of real-world or observational research data exists.

URL : A review of data sharing statements in observational studies published in the BMJ: A cross-sectional study


Publications en libre accès en biologie–médecine : historique et état des lieux en 2016

Auteurs/Authors : Christophe Boudry, Manuel Durand-Barthez

L’apparition du mouvement « open access » (libre accès, LA) et des archives ouvertes a bouleversé (et bouleverse encore) l’économie et l’accès aux publications scientifiques. L’objectif de cet article est de réactualiser et compléter les résultats des études antérieures qui ont tenté de quantifier l’importance du LA dans le domaine de la biologie/médecine, par le biais d’un focus sur la base de données bibliographiques PubMed.

Une analyse des publications en LA dans PubMed en fonction de l’origine géographique des auteurs a également été menée (pays et continents) et un certain nombre de paramètres liés au LA (évolution du nombre de journaux en LA, nombre de mandats et d’archives ouvertes par pays et continents) ont également été étudiés et mis en perspective. Les résultats mettent en évidence que les pourcentages d’articles dont le texte intégral et disponible en LA ne cessent de progresser et concernent en 2015, 39,1 % des articles disponibles dans PubMed.

L’analyse géographique des 25 pays les plus productifs et des continents montre une grande variabilité concernant le pourcentage d’articles en LA (de 21,9 % pour l’Italie à 42,08 % pour les États-Unis et de 22,80 % pour l’Océanie à 40,84 % pour l’Amérique du Nord).

Par ailleurs, nos données montrent que le nombre de mandats et d’archives ouvertes n’est pas corrélé de manière significative au pourcentage d’articles en LA au niveau national et continental, confirmant ainsi que les politiques publiques successives ou les mandats relatifs au LA n’ont eu qu’une influence, sinon secondaire, du moins inférieure aux attentes.

La mise en place de mandats plus coercitifs parviendra peut-être à obtenir des effets plus significatifs à plus ou moins long terme. L’augmentation régulière du nombre de journaux en LA, concomitante à l’augmentation avérée du nombre de citations des articles en LA, amplifiera certainement encore l’attrait des auteurs pour le LA.




How to responsibly acknowledge research work in the era of big data and biobanks: ethical aspects of the Bioresource Research Impact Factor (BRIF)

Authors : Heidi Carmen Howard, Deborah Mascalzoni, Laurence Mabile, Gry Houeland, Emmanuelle Rial-Sebbag, Anne Cambon-Thomsen

Currently, a great deal of biomedical research in fields such as epidemiology, clinical trials and genetics is reliant on vast amounts of biological and phenotypic information collected and assembled in biobanks.

While many resources are being invested to ensure that comprehensive and well-organised biobanks are able to provide increased access to, and sharing of biomedical samples and information, many barriers and challenges remain to such responsible and extensive sharing.

Germane to the discussion herein is the barrier to collecting and sharing bioresources related to the lack of proper recognition of researchers and clinicians who developed the bioresource. Indeed, the efforts and resources invested to set up and sustain a bioresource can be enormous and such work should be easily traced and properly recognised.

However, there is currently no such system that systematically and accurately traces and attributes recognition to those doing this work or the bioresource institution itself. As a beginning of a solution to the “recognition problem”, the Bioresource Research Impact Factor/Framework (BRIF) initiative was proposed almost a decade and a half ago and is currently under further development.

With the ultimate aim of increasing awareness and understanding of the BRIF, in this article, we contribute the following: (1) a review of the objectives and functions of the BRIF including the description of two tools that will help in the deployment of the BRIF, the CoBRA (Citation of BioResources in journal Articles) guideline, and the Open Journal of Bioresources (OJB); (2) the results of a small empirical study on stakeholder awareness of the BRIF and (3) a brief analysis of the ethical dimensions of the BRIF which allow it to be a positive contribution to responsible biobanking.

URL : How to responsibly acknowledge research work in the era of big data and biobanks: ethical aspects of the Bioresource Research Impact Factor (BRIF)

Alternative locaton :