Semantic Scholar: a new way to search for scientific literature

Semantic ScholarSemantic Scholar is a new service for scientific literature search and discovery, focusing on semantics and textual understanding.

This search engine allows users to find key  papers about a topic or to produce a list of important citations or results in a given paper. It also serves as a resource and test bed for research in AI.

This search engine unveiled on 2 November by the non-profit Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2) in Seattle, Washington, is working towards an understanding of a paper’s content: “We’re trying to get deep into the papers and be fast and clean and usable,” says Oren Etzioni, chief executive officer of AI2.”No one can keep up with the explosive growth of scientific literature. Which papers are most relevant? Which are considered the highest quality? Is anyone else working on this specific or related problem? Now, researchers can begin to answer these questions in seconds, speeding research and solving big problems faster.”

The product is currently limited to searching about 3 million open-access papers in computer science. But the AI2 team aims to broaden that to other fields within a year.

Using machine reading and vision methods, Semantic Scholar crawls the web, finding all PDFs of publically available scientific papers on computer science topics, extracting both text and diagrams/captions, and indexing it all for future contextual retrieval. Using natural language processing, the system identifies the top papers, extracts filtering information and topics, and sorts by what type of paper and how influential its citations are. It provides the scientist with a simple user interface (optimized for mobile) that maps to academic researchers’ expectations. Filters such as topic, date of publication, author and where published are built in. It includes smart, contextual recommendations for further keyword filtering as well.


Read also: Artificial-intelligence institute launches free science search engine, Nature, November 2, 2015.

Useful Chrome extensions to help manage references

CitationsA very interesting post found “The Impact Blog” of LSE suggests 10 useful 10 Chrome extensions to help manage references, notes, citations and capture information. Here is a summary:

Readability turns complicated web pages into simple, clean PDF type documents, and allows you to read the article free of distraction or save it later to read offline.

Evernote cleans up web pages for later viewing, captures the web page in full with its Web Clipper tool, and allows you to take screenshots, save articles and bookmark pages to your Evernote scrapbook.
The button turns the long URL into something much more digestible, as well as make it useful for anyone Tweeting the link and wanting to save on character space.

Nimbus Screenshot
This tool allows capture and crop all directly from the browser. Cropped content can be edited and annotated before being saved locally to your computer.

Lazy Scholar
Lazy Scholar gives users a snapshot of metrics relating to a piece of research, such as Scholar Cites, Web of Science score, as well as contact email and comments.

Google Scholar Button
This works with Google Scholar and turns search results into easy copy and paste references using the main styles of APA, MLA and Chicago.

An extension for Twitter that allows you to follow your timelines, compose Tweets, share, delete and favourite them. It creates short URLs within the extension and acts as a notifier for new Tweets.

PaperPile is a reference management tool for researchers and students who rely on Google Apps to carry out their research. It isn’t free but comes with a 30 day free trial.

Cite This For Me
It can create references in APA, Chicago, Harvard and MLA formats and provides a pop-up box containing the appropriately formatted reference for  books, newspapers, journals and more.

Extension Manager
It becomes increasingly important to have an extension to manage your extensions in order to improve your computing experience.

Read more on LSE Impact Blog

Textmarker! will help you avoid plagiarism

Textmarker! is a Mozilla Firefox add-on which allows you to highlight text selections and to copy it into a Word document. Up to 3 highlighter colors can be configured.

First, add Textmarker! to your browser.


Then, on a selection of text of your document and make a right-click to highlight a paragraph.
Make another right click to select “Texte surligné —-> Copier tous les éléments surlignés”

Last, on a Word document, paste your text selection using the  Ctrl +V shortcut on your keyboard. The text’s source will automatically be added below the paragraph.

My Research Dashboard

ResearchDashboardIf you want to find out at a glance how your work is performing, then you might be interested in testing “MyResearchDashboard“, a tool created by Elsevier. It enables you to know how your work is being viewed, cited and shared.

This tool helps you get early indicators of how and where your work has the most impact and with which audiences, within a few weeks after its publication. You can track this impact over time and cross all your publications (Elsevier and non-Elsevier publications) and see the number of views and citations each of them has received.

You can access real-time metrics and also metrics dating back 10 years. You can also monitor how your publications are being shared on Mendeley. You will also gain insight into how your work is being compared to other publications.

My Research Dashboard connects Scopus, ScienceDirect and Mendeley. Scopus is an abstract and citation database that represents 5,000 publishers. ScienceDirect is home to almost 16% of the world’s peer-reviewed content and Mendeley is a free reference manager and academic social network that helps you organize your documents, collaborate with others online, and discover the latest research in your field.

Register here to My Research Dashboard. The Library will be happy to help you register.

Have you already tried to use ImpactStory?

ImpactStoryImpactStory is an open source, web-based tool that provides altmetrics to help researchers measure and share the impacts of all their research outputs—from traditional ones such as journal articles, to alternative research outputs such as blog posts, datasets, and software.

Altmetrics cover not just citation counts, but also other aspects of the impact of a work, such as how many data and knowledge bases refer to it, article views, downloads, or mentions in social media and news media.

The metrics provided by ImpactStory can be used by researchers who want to know how many times their work has been downloaded and shared beyond only considering citations to journal articles.

Below is an example of a researcher profile on ImpactStory:


You can have a free trial of the service, upload some works (it is better if you have an ORCID number or a Google Scholar profile so that you can upload all your publications at once) and see how people have already engaged with your research.

Also note that ImpactStory is a nonprofit organisation funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the National Science Foundation.

To know more about altmetrics and how they correlate with citations, see: “From Attention to Citation: What are altmetrics and how do they work?“, a blog post from Xianwen Wang, Associate Professor at WISE Lab, Dalian University of Technology in China, on LSE “Impact blog“.

How to manage your citations with your iPad ?

More and more citations apps are now available for tablets.
We already present you Easy Bib but others apps also exist.
Some are free others will cost you a few euros.

Take a look at this selection made by “Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

Which one is your favorite ?

Would you be willing to pay to get an effective app to manage citations on your iPad ?




Have you heard of CitNetExplorer?

What is CitNetExplorer?


CitNetExplorer is ‘a software tool for visualizing and analyzing citation networks of scientific publications.’

The software allows the user to import citation networks straight from the Web of Science database, for example, which HEC subscribes to, alongside citation imports from millions of other publications and citations.

These networks can then be explored interactively. The user is able to identify related publications and cited works using the graphic, find direct and indirect citation relations and apply different algorithms to limit results, such as by publication date or to identify connected components. They can also be exported in Pajek format for further consultation.


Why use CitNetExplorer?

CitNetExplorer uses citations to identify relationships between different publications or authors. This makes it possible to:

  • Analyze or follow developments in a specific research domain over time.
  • Identify the literature available on a specific research topic.
  • Explore the range publications from a researcher.
  • Review literature in a given field

For a tutorial showing how to use this software, click here

To download the software, click here

General rules and basic information about data citation

In the same way that you cite journal articles and books you reference in your publication, you may also need to cite any data your publication uses.

Citing data sets (spreadsheets etc.) is necessary to provide context and to give credit to your research.

Some style guides provide instructions for the citation of data, but if you can’t find a list of general rules, then consider these few elements when building your data citation:

Author: Creator of the data set (individual, group of individuals, organization).

Title: Title of the data set or name of the study.

Edition or Version: Version or edition number associated with the data set.

Date: Year of data publication.

Editor: Person or team responsible for compiling or editing the data set.

Publisher (= distributor): Entity (and location) responsible for producing and/or distributing the data set.

Producer: Organization that sponsored the author’s research and/or organization that made the creation of the data set possible, such as codifying and digitizing the data.

Material: Computer file or online article.

Electronic Retrieval Location: Web address where the data set is available including persistent identifier like DOI.

Examples using these General Rules:

APA (6th edition)

Smith, T.W., Marsden, P.V., & Hout, M. (2011). General social survey, 1972-2010 cumulative file (ICPSR31521-v1) [data file and codebook]. Chicago, IL: National Opinion Research Center [producer]. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor]. doi: 10.3886/ICPSR31521.v1

MLA (7th edition)

Smith, Tom W., Peter V. Marsden, and Michael Hout. General Social Survey, 1972-2010 Cumulative File. ICPSR31521-v1. Chicago, IL: National Opinion Research Center [producer]. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2011. Web. 23 Jan 2012. doi:10.3886/ICPSR31521.v1

Chicago (16th edition) (author-date)

Smith, Tom W., Peter V. Marsden, and Michael Hout. 2011. General Social Survey, 1972-2010 Cumulative File. ICPSR31521-v1. Chicago, IL: National Opinion Research Center. Distributed by Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research. doi:10.3886/ICPSR31521.v1

Also note that versions X5 and above of Endnote have a template for the ‘dataset’ reference type.

See the Endnote manual for information on how to use this reference type if you are unsure.

The library will be happy to help with data set citation.

Referencing databases

How to cite specialist company and financial databases

A veru useful guide created by the Manchester Business School Library ‘considers a database as similar to an e-book’  and therefore suggests you use the database name as the author. For example, the citation would be (Datastream, 2012) rather than (Thomson Reuters, 2012) The reader can find the specific database used in the list of references.

As a general rule, this format can be adopted:

Author =Database name, (year)

Full database title,  [consulted via]

Available at: Subscription Service (accessed: Date accessed)

For example, to cite a full databse:

Bloomberg. (2012) Bloomberg Professional. [Online]. Available at: Subscription Service (Accessed: 3 January 2014)

Or a report from within a specific database:

Bloomberg. (2012) “Company information for Rolls Royce PLC”, Bloomberg Professional. [Online]. Available at: Bloomberg Subscription Service (Accessed: 19 November 2012)

Business Research Plus, the MBS Library blog is full of valuable information. Have a look!

Ever wondered how to…

Ever wondered how to…
Cite a tweet ?

Say you’re writing a paper on the use of social media. How do you cite the tweets you’ll be referencing?

The Modern Language Association has a straightforward formula that ends with “Tweet.”

Last name, First name (User Name).
“The complete tweet.” Date, Time. Tweet

Want an even easier way ?


By simply copying the Tweet URL into its field and clicking “convert”. This online tool creates an MLA format citation for use in your text editor.