Standardize product names in citations

In Citation tracking, Smart Embed Code by Xu CuiLeave a Comment

You will be surprised how many ways researchers can reference your product names in their publications. For example, if your product’s official name is “EasyDNA kit” with catalog number A1234, then it might be referenced as:

  • EasyDNA kit (A1234) (this is the correct one)
  • EasyDNA kit (without catalog number, but the name is still correct)
  • Easy DNA kit (space is added)
  • Easy-DNA (A-1234) (hyphen is added)
  • EasyDNA kit (#A1234) (# is added)
  • EasyDNA kits (plural is used)
  • EasyRNA kit (misspelled)

Name variations makes it a headache to organize citations by product, or show relevant citations in individual product pages. This issue is more prominent for reagent companies who often have hundreds of or even thousands of products.

We help a number of life science companies solve this problem by converting the product names referenced by the researchers to standard names (often the catalog number). What we need is a dictionary of the product name and catalog number. The output is a separate column called “Product Convert To Catalog”.

Here is how we do it:

1. Extract catalog number directly

A small number of authors (about 20%) do mention the catalog numbers. In this case, we will look for the catalog number, standardize it (e.g. remove hyphen etc), and put the catalog number in a separate column.

For example, Easy-DNA (A-1234) will be converted to A1234.

This however only works for a small number of citations.

2. Find the product name and convert to catalog number (Exact match)

In most cases the authors do not bother to put the catalog number in the papers. We will match the standard product name in your dictionary to each citation, and put the corresponding catalog number to a separate column.

For example, EasyDNA kit will be converted to A1234.

3. Find the product name and convert to catalog number (Fuzzy match)

When an exact match of the product name fails, we will try a fuzzy match using our special algorithm. For example, if the author mentioned Easy-DNA kit (with hyphen) but the standard name is EasyDNA kit, we will consider it to be a match. So Easy-DNA kit will be converted to A1234.

It’s often the case we need to develop a dedicated computer program tailed to each customer.

4. Catalog number merge

If two products differ insignificantly (e.g. volume 100uL and 200uL), it makes sense to convert them to the same catalog number. For example, A1234-100 (for the 100uL product) and A1234-200 (for the 200uL product) will both be converted to A1234.

5. Standard name other than catalog number

While catalog number is the most popular choice for standard name, there are other options. For example, let’s say you have two families of products, DNA and RNA, each family consisting of many individual products. You with to show citations of the entire family on an individual product’s page. In this case, we will convert the product name to the family name.

With product name standardized, it is very easy to use our Smart Embed Code to show relevant citations on your product pages. For example:

<div id="bizgenius-citation-widget-container-list" data-product-name='A1234' style="width:100%;"></div>

The data-product-name='A1234' will tell our Smart Embed Code to only retrieve citations relevant to A1234.

Do you need help standardize your product names? Please feel free to contact us.

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