Dimensions has integrated the CSO classification from the International Cancer Research Partnership (ICRP)
The integration of a classification system for cancer research into Dimensions Analytics offers new ways to track and understand cancer-related activity across publications, grants and more.
Digital Science has been working closely with the International Cancer Research Partnership, ICRP, which partners with governmental, public, and non-profit cancer research funding organizations around the globe. ICRP itself maintains the only worldwide public source of current and past cancer research grants (more than $50 billion has been awarded since 2000 alone).
Finding a common language
For many years, the stumbling block for funders like ICRP, researchers and institutions was that there was no clear way to categorize the cancer-related grants awarded or the findings they funded.This made conducting any kind of meaningful data analysis a challenge.
In response, the ICRP launched the CSO – Common Scientific Outline – coding system; it contains 34 codes organized into six broad areas of scientific interest in cancer research:
- Early Detection, Diagnosis & Prognosis
- Cancer Control, Survivorship & Outcomes
The CSO is complemented by a series of codes describing the cancer type. The codes for both can be applied to many forms of data – in the case of publications, for example, they are determined by looking at the text the researcher has used to describe their research, e.g. the award title, lay and/or scientific abstract and keywords (where available).
The big advantage of the ICRP CSO system is that it provides a common language for comparing and contrasting the research portfolios of agencies, whether they are public, philanthropic, or government-run.
CSO and Dimensions
Some years ago, Digital Science and ICRP began working together to integrate the CSO classifications into Dimensions. Initially, adding the coding to data was a manual process.
We then drew on machine learning technology to automate classification; training and refining the algorithm with pre-coded documents and the input of ICRP subject matter experts.
Unlike other databases, Dimensions doesn’t use a journal classification approach, which has allowed us to include non-journal related records, such as grants.
As a result, we’ve now taken the next logical step and applied the ICRP CSO coding to all cancer research-related records among the 100 million publications, 2.4 million grants, clinical trials, policy documents, and patents that Dimensions is home to.
A new phase for Dimensions Analytics users
Users of Dimensions Analytics are now able to explore and understand cancer research-related funding and publications in a much deeper way. For example, they can compare the activities of funders, universities, countries, and researchers (see figures 1 and 2).
Figure 1: A Dimensions screenshot contrasting CSO-categorized publications by researchers at the University of Oxford and University of Cambridge in the UK. Oxford is more active in the area of ‘Systemic Therapies / Clinical application’, while Cambridge is more dominant in the early stages and genetic causes of Leukemia development, e.g. ‘Cancer Initiation: Alterations in Chromosomes’.
Figure 2: Select UK universities and their outputs in the CSO categories relevant to clinical treatment of Leukemia – important information for patients.
How to filter using the new ICRP categories
Whether searching publications, grants, patents, clinical trials, or policy documents, Dimensions Analytics users will find a filter called ‘Research categories’ in the left hand column. Clicking on it opens out a list of six options (see figure 3). These include the two new ICRP-related filters:
- ICRP Cancer Types: Lists more than 60 cancer types determined by a coding system linked to the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases.
- ICRP Common Scientific Outline (CSO): The 34 CSO codes organized into six broad categories of scientific interest in cancer research.
Users can filter and browse on these ICRP categories and their sub-categories, or use them to refine search results.
Figure 3: The two new ICRP classifications appear under ‘Research categories’ in the left hand column.
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