RerrFact: Reduced Evidence Retrieval Representations for Scientific Claim Verification

Exponential growth in digital information outlets and the race to publish has made scientific misinformation more prevalent than ever. However, the task to fact-verify a given scientific claim is not straightforward even for researchers. Scientific claim verification requires in-depth knowledge and great labor from domain experts to substantiate supporting and refuting evidence from credible scientific sources. The SciFact dataset and corresponding task provide a benchmarking leaderboard to the community to develop automatic scientific claim verification systems via extracting and assimilating relevant evidence rationales from source abstracts. In this work, we propose a modular approach that sequentially carries out binary classification for every prediction subtask as in the SciFact leaderboard. Our simple classifier-based approach uses reduced abstract representations to retrieve relevant abstracts. These are further used to train the relevant rationale-selection model. Finally, we carry out two-step stance predictions that first differentiate non-relevant rationales and then identify supporting or refuting rationales for a given claim. Experimentally, our system RerrFact with no fine-tuning, simple design, and a fraction of model parameters fairs competitively on the leaderboard against large-scale, modular, and joint modeling approaches. We make our codebase available at

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