Tracking biomedical articles along the translational continuum: a measure based on biomedical knowledge representation

by   Xin Li, et al.

Keeping track of translational research is essential to evaluating the performance of programs on translational medicine. Despite several indicators in previous studies, a consensus measure is still needed to represent the translational features of biomedical research at the article level. In this study, we first trained semantic representations of biomedical entities and documents (i.e., bio entity2vec and bio doc2vec) based on over 30 million PubMed articles. With these vectors, we then developed a new measure called Translational Progression (TP) for tracking biomedical articles along the translational continuum. We validated the effectiveness of TP from two perspectives (Clinical trial phase identification and ACH classification), which showed excellent consistency between TP and other indicators. Meanwhile, TP has several advantages. First, it can track the degree of translation of biomedical research dynamically and in real time. Second, it is straightforward to interpret and operationalize. Third, it doesn MeSH labeling and it is suitable for big scholarly data as well as papers that are not indexed in PubMed. In addition, we examined the translational progressions of biomedical research from three dimensions (including overall distribution, time, and research topic), which revealed three significant findings. The proposed measure in this study could be used by policymakers to monitor biomedical research with high translational potential in real time and make better decisions. It can also be adopted and improved for other domains, such as physics or computer science, to assess the application value of scientific discoveries.


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