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1.  Evaluating gold standard corpora against gene/protein tagging solutions and lexical resources 
The identification of protein and gene names (PGNs) from the scientific literature requires semantic resources: Terminological and lexical resources deliver the term candidates into PGN tagging solutions and the gold standard corpora (GSC) train them to identify term parameters and contextual features. Ideally all three resources, i.e. corpora, lexica and taggers, cover the same domain knowledge, and thus support identification of the same types of PGNs and cover all of them. Unfortunately, none of the three serves as a predominant standard and for this reason it is worth exploring, how these three resources comply with each other. We systematically compare different PGN taggers against publicly available corpora and analyze the impact of the included lexical resource in their performance. In particular, we determine the performance gains through false positive filtering, which contributes to the disambiguation of identified PGNs.
In general, machine learning approaches (ML-Tag) for PGN tagging show higher F1-measure performance against the BioCreative-II and Jnlpba GSCs (exact matching), whereas the lexicon based approaches (LexTag) in combination with disambiguation methods show better results on FsuPrge and PennBio. The ML-Tag solutions balance precision and recall, whereas the LexTag solutions have different precision and recall profiles at the same F1-measure across all corpora. Higher recall is achieved with larger lexical resources, which also introduce more noise (false positive results). The ML-Tag solutions certainly perform best, if the test corpus is from the same GSC as the training corpus. As expected, the false negative errors characterize the test corpora and – on the other hand – the profiles of the false positive mistakes characterize the tagging solutions. Lex-Tag solutions that are based on a large terminological resource in combination with false positive filtering produce better results, which, in addition, provide concept identifiers from a knowledge source in contrast to ML-Tag solutions.
The standard ML-Tag solutions achieve high performance, but not across all corpora, and thus should be trained using several different corpora to reduce possible biases. The LexTag solutions have different profiles for their precision and recall performance, but with similar F1-measure. This result is surprising and suggests that they cover a portion of the most common naming standards, but cope differently with the term variability across the corpora. The false positive filtering applied to LexTag solutions does improve the results by increasing their precision without compromising significantly their recall. The harmonisation of the annotation schemes in combination with standardized lexical resources in the tagging solutions will enable their comparability and will pave the way for a shared standard.
PMCID: PMC4021975  PMID: 24112383
2.  Evaluation and Cross-Comparison of Lexical Entities of Biological Interest (LexEBI) 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e75185.
Biomedical entities, their identifiers and names, are essential in the representation of biomedical facts and knowledge. In the same way, the complete set of biomedical and chemical terms, i.e. the biomedical “term space” (the “Lexeome”), forms a key resource to achieve the full integration of the scientific literature with biomedical data resources: any identified named entity can immediately be normalized to the correct database entry. This goal does not only require that we are aware of all existing terms, but would also profit from knowing all their senses and their semantic interpretation (ambiguities, nestedness).
This study compiles a resource for lexical terms of biomedical interest in a standard format (called “LexEBI”), determines the overall number of terms, their reuse in different resources and the nestedness of terms. LexEBI comprises references for protein and gene entries and their term variants and chemical entities amongst other terms. In addition, disease terms have been identified from Medline and PubmedCentral and added to LexEBI. Our analysis demonstrates that the baseforms of terms from the different semantic types show only little polysemous use. Nonetheless, the term variants of protein and gene names (PGNs) frequently contain species mentions, which should have been avoided according to protein annotation guidelines. Furthermore, the protein and gene entities as well as the chemical entities, both do comprise enzymes leading to hierarchical polysemy, and a large portion of PGNs make reference to a chemical entity. Altogether, according to our analysis based on the Medline distribution, 401,869 unique PGNs in the documents contain a reference to 25,022 chemical entities, 3,125 disease terms or 1,576 species mentions.
LexEBI delivers the complete biomedical and chemical Lexeome in a standardized representation ( The resource provides the disease terms as open source content, and fully interlinks terms across resources.
PMCID: PMC3790750  PMID: 24124474
3.  Monitoring named entity recognition: the League Table 
Named entity recognition (NER) is an essential step in automatic text processing pipelines. A number of solutions have been presented and evaluated against gold standard corpora (GSC). The benchmarking against GSCs is crucial, but left to the individual researcher. Herewith we present a League Table web site, which benchmarks NER solutions against selected public GSCs, maintains a ranked list and archives the annotated corpus for future comparisons.
The web site enables access to the different GSCs in a standardized format (IeXML). Upon submission of the annotated corpus the user has to describe the specification of the used solution and then uploads the annotated corpus for evaluation. The performance of the system is measured against one or more GSCs and the results are then added to the web site (“League Table”). It displays currently the results from publicly available NER solutions from the Whatizit infrastructure for future comparisons.
The League Table enables the evaluation of NER solutions in a standardized infrastructure and monitors the results long-term. For access please go to Contact:
PMCID: PMC4015903  PMID: 24034148
Text mining; Gold standard corpus; Evaluation; Named entity
4.  Database Citation in Full Text Biomedical Articles 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e63184.
Molecular biology and literature databases represent essential infrastructure for life science research. Effective integration of these data resources requires that there are structured cross-references at the level of individual articles and biological records. Here, we describe the current patterns of how database entries are cited in research articles, based on analysis of the full text Open Access articles available from Europe PMC. Focusing on citation of entries in the European Nucleotide Archive (ENA), UniProt and Protein Data Bank, Europe (PDBe), we demonstrate that text mining doubles the number of structured annotations of database record citations supplied in journal articles by publishers. Many thousands of new literature-database relationships are found by text mining, since these relationships are also not present in the set of articles cited by database records. We recommend that structured annotation of database records in articles is extended to other databases, such as ArrayExpress and Pfam, entries from which are also cited widely in the literature. The very high precision and high-throughput of this text-mining pipeline makes this activity possible both accurately and at low cost, which will allow the development of new integrated data services.
PMCID: PMC3667078  PMID: 23734176
5.  UKPMC: a full text article resource for the life sciences 
Nucleic Acids Research  2010;39(Database issue):D58-D65.
UK PubMed Central (UKPMC) is a full-text article database that extends the functionality of the original PubMed Central (PMC) repository. The UKPMC project was launched as the first ‘mirror’ site to PMC, which in analogy to the International Nucleotide Sequence Database Collaboration, aims to provide international preservation of the open and free-access biomedical literature. UKPMC ( has undergone considerable development since its inception in 2007 and now includes both a UKPMC and PubMed search, as well as access to other records such as Agricola, Patents and recent biomedical theses. UKPMC also differs from PubMed/PMC in that the full text and abstract information can be searched in an integrated manner from one input box. Furthermore, UKPMC contains ‘Cited By’ information as an alternative way to navigate the literature and has incorporated text-mining approaches to semantically enrich content and integrate it with related database resources. Finally, UKPMC also offers added-value services (UKPMC+) that enable grantees to deposit manuscripts, link papers to grants, publish online portfolios and view citation information on their papers. Here we describe UKPMC and clarify the relationship between PMC and UKPMC, providing historical context and future directions, 10 years on from when PMC was first launched.
PMCID: PMC3013671  PMID: 21062818

Results 1-5 (5)