Cycles of scientific investigation in discourse: Machine reading methods for the primary research contributions of a paper

Gully A. Burns, Anita De Waard, Pradeep Dasigi, Eduard H. Hovy

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article


We describe a novel approach to machine reading of the primary scientific literature. We treat a description of an experiment as a discourse, viewing a scientific corpus not merely into a collection of documents, but also an extended conversation formed by the collective set of experiments, their introductions and interpretations. This paper introduces this approach as a methodology called 'Cycles of Scientific Investigation in Discourse' (CoSID). In CoSID, we capture the central conceptual structure of a paper as a series of nested reasoning loops, composed of passages in results sections, which describe individual research findings. We ground our work with a number of worked examples based on data from the MINTACT and Pathway Logic databases, and illustrate the idea in the context of machine-enable biocuration1.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCEUR Workshop Proceedings
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Event2016 Joint International Conference on Biological Ontology and BioCreative - Food, Nutrition, Health and Environment for the 9 Billion, ICBO-BioCreative 2016 - Corvallis, United States
Duration: Aug 1 2016Aug 4 2016



  • Computational language technology
  • Experiment description as discourse
  • Interpretive framework for experiments

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