Searching is the basis of discovery
“Search is the new journal!”, was one of the rallying cries at the recent Force11 meeting in Berlin. But what does this mean? Well, we have a bit of a problem in research – there is so much content being published these days, about 2-3 million papers each year from around 50,000 journals! It has never been more crucial to have efficient ways of searching to discover relevant work for your research question. No single human is capable of this alone.
Now, we know Google Scholar is usually everyone’s search engine of choice for research articles. But when you pop in a search term, how do you know what research is good, what’s relevant to you, what people are talking about? You just get an enormous list that trails off with ever-decreasing relevance, and are supposed to be able to figure that all out yourself. We can do better.
Quality and quantity
Efficient search is the core issue that our freely accessible multi-layer discovery engine is helping to solve. The current database at ScienceOpen has more than 36 million article records, and growing at around 100,000 new records each week. Each of these records is linked within the database to other articles through our open citation network.
We use this citation information, and other article metadata, to provide an enriched search ecosystem for users. The purpose of this is to allow users to drill down to relevant research using a range of different contexts and criteria, saving time and energy, and facilitating research discovery at multiple dimensions.
Sort by citation count
Citations are still one of the main forms of ‘academic’ currency in a modern research world. Citations only measure how many times a piece of work has been cited without additional context. As such, they are a simple proxy for ‘scholarly discussion’ of a piece of work, but beyond this are essentially devoid of legitimacy as a metric.
Sorting a search result by citations allows you to see what is most popular in a research context, and which articles have been particularly important in developing new disciplines, ideas, and ways of thinking. Identifying highly-cited articles provides for you a great starting point for further discovery. Citations reveal to you the lineage of ideas – start at the top, and work your way down! Understanding the historical context of ideas is critical for good research, and ScienceOpen helps you to explore this.
Sort by Altmetric score
Altmetric scores are a combined measure of social attention for articles. They give us a nice idea of how much an article is being discussed in news outlets or on social media. If you want to keep up with the buzz in your field, or find out what’s of interest in another, ScienceOpen gives you the tools for that.