Background: Good automatic information extraction tools offer hope for automatic processing of the exploding biomedical literature, and successful named entity recognition is a key component for such tools. Methods: We present a maximum-entropy based system incorporating a diverse set of features for identifying gene and protein names in biomedical abstracts. Results: This system was entered in the BioCreative comparative evaluation and achieved a precision of 0.83 and recall of 0.84 in the “open ” evaluation and a precision of 0.78 and recall of 0.85 in the “closed ” evaluation. Conclusions: Central contributions are rich use of features derived from the training data at multiple levels of granularity, a focus on correctly identifying entity boundaries, and the innovative use of several external knowledge sources including full MEDLINE abstracts and web searches. Background The explosion of information in the biomedical domain and particularly in genetics has highlighted the need for automated text information extraction techniques. MEDLINE, the primary research database serving the biomedical community, currently contains over 14 million abstracts, with 60,000 new abstracts appearing each month. There is also an impressive number of molecular biological databases covering a
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