From cortisone to graphene

We are happy to announce that the visualization: “From cortisone to graphene: 60 years of breakthroughs in PubMed publications” has won the Best Visualization award in the WebSci 2014 Data Visualization Challenge.

coverBiomedical science advances can often be described by brief periods of discovery followed by decades of study and research. This analysis aims to show an overview of the breakthroughs inferred from the titles of 21.5 millions of PubMed publications. For this visualization, we built a timeline of terms that have experienced a sudden increase in popularity in PubMed publication titles.
The position of the terms is related to the years in witch the breakthrough has occurred, the size and color of the word are indicative of the popularity of the term. Authors that contributed signi cantly to the breakthroughs have been linked to their areas of research.

In order to create the visualization we strted by extracting words and bigrams from publication titles, analyzing the occurrence of such terms in the years between 1950 and 2010. We detected peaks of activity for each term, identifying the years with high acceleration in the term usage, and filtered out terms with low entropy as they are too generic. We also identi ed related authors (with at least 100 publications, of which at least 50 contain the given term in the title), and finallycreated a weighted graph with years, terms and authors, using a force-directed layout to position the terms next to their years and authors next to their related terms.

Down­load the detailed report

Explore a high res­o­lu­tion ver­sion of the visualization