Literature review is a crucial aspect of scientific work, with every single published research paper requiring one as part of the Introduction. Still, keeping up with the rapidly growing body of literature can be a daunting and time consuming task, and difficult to integrate into the everyday routine for many researchers. Being not an urgent, deadline-driven kind of activity, regular literature review often lands on the bottom of to-do lists.
However, with more than 2 million research papers published each year, how are you supposed to efficiently stay on top of this?
This is especially the case in the era of digital publishing when the power of established, high impact factor journal brands is becoming less important compared to article-level metrics and individual assessments. In this dynamically changing environment of scientific communication, keeping an open mind and providing critical evaluation of the literature have never been more important.
Consequently, signing up to individual RSS feeds or browsing through the contents of each of the key journals of your field of research is simply not an efficient way to keep yourself up to date.
At ScienceOpen, we offer powerful solutions for staying on top of recently published articles. By following the 3 steps below, you can easily integrate an effective literature review and discovery routine into your research life.
1. Gain the most from our search and discovery tools
Research is all about discovery. Recently we launched a range of powerful dynamic, multi-level search and discovery tools using state of art technology.
Of them, the filters ‘Indexed in the last X days/weeks/months’ and ‘Publication date in the last X days/weeks/months’ will make it super easy to keep track of the newest articles as well as our latest additions. To get your daily dose of science, all you have to do is to apply these filters and choose the relevant time span.
In general, these filters open a window for you to have a peek into how our research network expands and develops day by day. But you can leverage their real power by adding your own keywords or disciplines. This way you can easily find articles that might be of interest to you and also get some more targeted suggestions from a variety of sources.
In the course of the daily aggregation, we bring together research articles from across more than 3000 publishers and 27,000 journals, as well as other platforms, and integrate these into one community space. More specifically:
- We harvest all the new content from PubMed, PmC and ArXiv every day. Preprints from ArXiv keep you really up to date since they allow you to read the latest results of your field before the publishing stage.
- We aggregate thousands of new articles each day by working closely with our publisher partners and our indexing competition winners.
- We also integrate new content from our users and collection editors through either ORCID automation or submission of a list of DOIs which we can use to pull in content from CrossRef, if we don’t already have it.
- RSS feeds containing DOIs enable us to integrate the latest articles from across different fields and publishers including Equinox, Oxford University Press, Springer Nature, Sage and Science.
Also, we would like to hear what you miss from this list! Do you follow an interesting RSS feed (including DOIs) you would like to see among these? Or would you like to import your pre-existing libraries from Zenodo/Endnote/Mendeley? Don’t hesitate to share with us and we will integrate it into our database for you.
2. Architect your own feed and keep it manageable
As a next step, by combining our 16 search filters, you can easily architect your very own search and create a reader for yourself which covers your exact research interests. Our enhanced semantic search possibilities help you to easily browse through our recent additions and find the most relevant pieces without feeling too overwhelmed.
Most importantly, you can select to retain these as a ‘saved search’, and gain real-time updates as new content is integrated into our platform. We’re growing at around 1 million article records a month at the moment, so you don’t want to miss out!
We are also aware that you don’t always have the time to read or even browse through all the results in one go. With ScienceOpen you can easily turn these feeds into your very own researcher led collection to share them with your research community.
If you would like to become an Editor for your very own collection, drop us a message and we’ll get you started!
3. Make it a habit and set your ScienceOpen time!
One important feature of saving your search queries is that we keep them up to date in the meantime. The next time you visit ScienceOpen, it’s enough to open your saved searches and see what’s new.
To make it a habit, you just have to set a fix time for discovery, say, once a day or once a week when you turn back to your own saved search feeds for your daily or weekly inspiration.
A pretty great time for this is Monday morning – start your week by getting the latest from your field. Don’t waste hours trying to discover new research from across the Web – ScienceOpen delivers all you want straight to you automatically!
It’s your turn now! Tell us how you manage your time for keeping up with papers or how we can improve our solutions for improving your literature review.