Tool tip #4: search and visualise scientific publications

Published on
November 12, 2018

In the series of 'Tool tips', Library staff reviews handy research tools. Think of tools that can help you with publishing your research, accessing literature, and handling data.

In this tip, we introduce Open Knowledge Maps, a free tool that visualises scientific publications in your search results and makes it easier to select relevant ones.

When searching for scientific literature, your search may be too broad and/or retrieve irrelevant results. Open Knowledge Maps clusters publications from a search and visualises them to help you select the results relevant for your research question. It can also help to narrow your research question

Open Knowledge Maps searches for literature in either Pubmed or Base. You can use Pubmed to search for literature in the life sciences and Base for all disciplines. Be aware that the coverage of Pubmed and Base differ from Scopus, Web of Science and Google Scholar. You can use filters to refine your search, for instance, to limit it to a specific time range.

Your search results are presented as a map with topical clusters of publications. The map is based on the 100 most relevant documents for your search. Text similarity is used to create the knowledge maps. Open Knowledge Maps groups papers by words shared in the metadata (titles, abstracts, keywords, authors, and journals). An example for the search 'sugar' is shown in the image below.

You can dig further into your results by clicking on the relevant clusters. Besides the map, you find a list of publications with links to the full text. Access to the full text of course depends on the text's Open Access status or the library’s subscriptions.

Do you want to make a head start with your literature search? Try Open Knowledge Maps!