In this article we propose a strategy for the summarization of scientific articles that concentrates on the rhetorical status of statements in an article: Material for summaries is selected in such a way that summaries can highlight the new contribution of the source article and situate it with respect to earlier work.

We provide a gold standard for summaries of this kind consisting of a substantial corpus of conference articles in computational linguistics annotated with human judgments of the rhetorical status and relevance of each sentence in the articles. We present several experiments measuring our judges' agreement on these annotations.

We also present an algorithm that, on the basis of the annotated training material, selects content from unseen articles and classifies it into a fixed set of seven rhetorical categories. The output of this extraction and classification system can be viewed as a single-document summary in its own right; alternatively, it provides starting material for the generation of task-oriented and user-tailored summaries designed to give users an overview of a scientific field.

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Author notes

Computer Laboratory, Cambridge University, JJ Thomson Avenue, Cambridge, CB3 OFD, England. [email protected]

Rhetorical Systems and University of Edinburgh, 2 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9LS, Scotland. [email protected]