We downloaded from the WoS all publication records for articles published in the journal NB as of December 2015, resulting in a data set of 3516 items. We then used the MeSH of MEDLINE/PubMed, a unified and controlled vocabulary system of article keywords, to separate publications into the complementary XDe and BIOe subsets. The typical biomedical publication has roughly 10 to 20 MeSH descriptors assigned by professional MEDLINE experts and algorithms, which can then be used to position publications in a complex conceptual space composed of 16 top-level categories and more than 27,800 MeSH descriptors (48).

We leveraged this detailed ontology by tagging publications with at least one MeSH keyword from the “Information Science” category—the L branch—as XDe articles. Three examples of MeSH keywords from the L branch are “Human Genome Project” (tree number L01.453.450), “Molecular Sequence Data” (tree number L01.453.245.667), and “Algorithms” (tree number L01.224.050). Seventy-one percent of the NB publications do not contain a single MeSH descriptor keyword belonging to the L branch; we tagged these as BIOe articles. Thus, there are a significant number of publications with and without explicit computational methods, and we used the latter set as our baseline for comparison.

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