Thursday, November 27, 2008

The (near) Future of Research Articles

Rod Page's demo for his Elsevier Grand Challenge submission ("Towards realising Darwin’s dream: setting the trees free") shows the type of enrichment of biological - if not all research - articles that is quickly becoming possible. Taking a published article ("Mitochondrial paraphyly in a polymorphic poison frog species (Dendrobatidae; D. pumilio"), various additional biological, geographical and other metadata are extracted and added to a web page for the article. These include:
  • Map showing all localities mentioned in the paper, with their enclosing
  • List of other studies which have samples in area enclosed by the
    study polygon
  • Each of the following are linked through to their underlying
    databases (such as NIH accession number and NCBI nucleotide viewer
    or linked to ubio taxonomic name viewer record:
    • List of sequence features (such as genes) in the article
    • List of taxa sequenced in the article
    • List of gene sequences cited by the article
  • An image collage of all biological taxa (organisms) in article
  • List of studies on related organisms
You can see his whole vision in his submission, which shows some interesting visualizations, such as his Google Earth Phylogenies:

and his Treemaps of Taxa.

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