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Gene indexing: characterization and analysis of NLM's GeneRIFs.

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University of Missouri -- Columbia, USA.


We present an initial analysis of the National Library of Medicine's (NLM) Gene Indexing initiative. Gene Indexing occurs at the time of indexing for all 4600 journals and over 500,000 articles added to PubMed/MEDLINE each year. Gene Indexing links articles about the basic biology of a gene or protein within eight model organisms to a specific record in the NLM's LocusLink database of gene products. The result is an entry called a Gene Reference Into Function (GeneRIF) within the LocusLink database. We analyzed the numbers of GeneRIFs produced in the first year of GeneRIF production. 27,645 GeneRIFs were produced, pertaining to 9126 loci over eight model organisms. 60% of these were associated with human genes and 27% with mouse genes. About 80% discuss genes with an established MeSH Heading or other MeSH term. We developed a prototype functional alerting system for researchers based on the GeneRIFs, and a strategy to find all of the literature related to genes. We conclude that the Gene Indexing initiative adds considerable value to the life sciences research community.

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