Second thesis defense of the MiRoR project
Anna Koroleva was the second Early Stage Researcher within the MiRoR network to defend her PhD thesis on January 22, 2020. Anna defended her thesis on “Assisted authoring for avoiding inadequate claims in scientific reporting” at the Universiteit van Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
The committee was composed: of Professor Ameen Abu-Hanna and Professor Evangelos Kanoulas from the Universiteit van Amsterdam; Professor Sophia Ananiadou from the University of Manchester; Professor Nicolas Sabouret and Doctor Olivier Ferret from the Université Paris-Saclay; Professor Paolo Rosso from the Universitat Politècnica de València.
The aim of Anna’s work was to develop Natural Language Processing (NLP) algorithms to identify spin and related information elements. The word “spin” refers to presenting research results in a distorted way, thus leading to mis-/over- interpretation of research results, contributing to research waste.
Her thesis consists of four main parts: 1) description of first experiments towards the goal of developing a spin detection pipeline, 2) description of the main algorithms built for a spin detection system, 3) implementation of the prototype system proposed, called DeSpin (Detector of Spin), 4) overview of the difficulties encountered.
During her PhD studies, Anna spent several months at different partner institutions in order to work on different aspects of her thesis. Her first secondment was hosted by the Cochrane Schizophrenia Group and was devoted to studying linguistic features of spin and collecting a corpus of texts with various spin types. Later, she spent a total of 5 months on two secondments at the Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam, targeting a range of goals, from recruiting annotators for the corpus of spin and related information, to writing research articles. Finally, she completed a secondment at the UK EQUATOR Center where she worked alongside a group of experts in scientific research reporting, which gave her a chance not only to receive valuable feedback on her project, but also to get involved in other activities devoted to improving the quality of research reporting.
After a successful thesis defence Anna has already started to work as a postdoc at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences where she continues her research in biomedical Natural Language Processing. Her current project lies in the field of literature-based drug-discovery – a relatively young research domain aiming at discovering implicit relations in scientific literature with the use of NLP and text mining.