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Advances in Bioinformatics
Volume 2012, Article ID 750214, 15 pages
Research Article

Do Peers See More in a Paper Than Its Authors?

1Pingar Research, Pingar, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
2Qatar Computing Research Institute, Qatar Foundation, Tornado Tower, Floor 10, P.O. Box 5825, Doha, Qatar
3School of Information, University of California at Berkeley, CA 94720, USA

Received 16 December 2011; Revised 17 March 2012; Accepted 5 June 2012

Academic Editor: Goran Nenadic

Copyright © 2012 Anna Divoli et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Recent years have shown a gradual shift in the content of biomedical publications that is freely accessible, from titles and abstracts to full text. This has enabled new forms of automatic text analysis and has given rise to some interesting questions: How informative is the abstract compared to the full-text? What important information in the full-text is not present in the abstract? What should a good summary contain that is not already in the abstract? Do authors and peers see an article differently? We answer these questions by comparing the information content of the abstract to that in citances—sentences containing citations to that article. We contrast the important points of an article as judged by its authors versus as seen by peers. Focusing on the area of molecular interactions, we perform manual and automatic analysis, and we find that the set of all citances to a target article not only covers most information (entities, functions, experimental methods, and other biological concepts) found in its abstract, but also contains 20% more concepts. We further present a detailed summary of the differences across information types, and we examine the effects other citations and time have on the content of citances.