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RTI wins NIH LitCoin Pilot Design Challenge

Program helps make biomedical information more widely accessible for all people

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — A team from RTI’s Center for Data Modernization Solutions (CDMS) at RTI International, a nonprofit research institute, has tied for first in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) LitCoin Pilot Design Challenge.

The NCATS LitCoin program focuses on making biomedical information more easily accessible to the public by helping researchers share key findings as free text to be mined by a natural language processing algorithm and transformed into a broader knowledge graph.

The goal of the challenge was to design an innovative submission platform that can accept free text descriptions of research findings, generate knowledge graphs based on these findings, allow authors to curate the knowledge graphs, connect authors to publishers, and allow the public to search and view the knowledge graphs.

“Our use of user-centered design principles for user adoption, journal publisher buy-in, and sustainability was instrumental in the win,” said Kira Bradford, a scientific computing principal investigator at RTI. “Our team designed a platform focused on ease of use, automation, data quality, validation, and sustainability.”

The proposal team – made up of RTI data modernization experts Kira Bradford, Allie Gartland-Gray, Mary Hannah Currin, Ousmane Sow, Jeran Stratford, and Kiryl Bychkouski — worked alongside RTI bioinformatics senior scientist Steve Edwards and research public health analyst Ty Ridenour to design a system that uses automation and user interaction to make the process of creating LitCoin publications easier for stakeholders. The team generated use cases and researched publishers to understand requirements for authors submitting shorter works including abstracts and preprint papers. 

As a result of the win, RTI will be awarded $10,000 and the team’s ideas will be incorporated into an upcoming NCATS funding announcement. 

Learn more about how RTI’s Center for Data Modernization Solutions is addressing emerging public health issues through reliable, robust, and innovative solutions.