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ScienceOpen launches new search capabilities

At ScienceOpen, we’ve just upgraded our search and discovery platform to be faster, smarter, and more efficient. A new user interface and filtering capabilities provide a better discovery experience for users. ScienceOpen searches more than 27 million full text open access or article metadata records and puts them in context. We include peer-reviewed academic articles from all fields, including pre-prints that we draw from the arXiv and which are explicitly tagged as such.

The current scale of academic publishing around the world is enormous. According to a recent STM report, we currently publish around 2.5 million new peer reviewed articles every single year, and that’s just in English language journals.

The problem with this for researchers and more broadly is how to stay up to date with newly published research. And not just in our own fields, but in related fields too. Researchers are permanently inundated, and we need to find a way to sift the wheat from the chaff.

The solution is smart and enhanced search and discovery. Platforms like ResearchGate and Google Scholar (GS) have just a single layer of discovery, with additional functions such as sorting by date to help narrow things down a bit. GS is the de facto mode of discovery of primary research for most academics, but it also contains a whole slew of ‘grey literature’ (i.e., non-peer reviewed outputs), which often interferes with finding the best research.

As well as this, if you do a simple search with GS, say just for dinosaurs, you get 161,000 returned results. How on Earth are you supposed to find the most useful and most relevant research based on this if you want to move beyond Google’s page rank, especially if you’re entering this from outside the area of specialisation? Simply narrowing down by dates does very little to prevent being overwhelmed with an absolute deluge of maybe maybe-not relevant literature. We need to do better at research discovery.

Now witness the power of this fully armed and operational academic search engine

A powerful aspect of the ScienceOpen search functionality is that it is multi-layered.

andy-langeger_deathstar_flickr_cc-by-nc
Image courtsey of Andy Langeger, Deathstar, Flickr, CC BY- NC

You can start out with a standard keyword search across all publishers, journals, or sub-disciplines. But the useful trick then is that we can then sort these by citations, Altmetric score, date, read count, rating, or relevance. Each of these is a different measure of the importance of an article in a different context. Filtering using these metrics helps to narrow down and concentrate the content so you can discover research that is most directly relevant to you and your discipline.

The real key here is to offer comprehensive coverage combined with accurate and precise search tools. In a time when we are becoming overwhelmed with new research, being able to smartly discover like this saves you time and effort, and means you can spend more time doing actual research! ScienceOpen offers a way of filtering the signal from the noise, and a sharper and more effective way to distill information and manage the research discovery process.

Some new features of the ScienceOpen search include a breakdown of results in the left-hand bar on the basis of collections, journals, publishers, keywords and disciplines to help refine a search. These topical groupings are central components of the research context and can provide short-cuts for academics.  Publishers and journals can now also be searched directly and results dynamically filtered by citations, Altmetric score, usage and more.

On a daily basis new content from publishers and major aggregation sources are added, so once researchers have found the right parameters, they can save their search and return to it as often as they want.

sample-search
Results of a search for nanowire

As we continue to expand, our targeted discovery solutions will remain key in being able to filter the needles from the haystack and maintain a high quality of precision for researchers. Try out our search capabilities today!