Scientific Discovery Series - Part One: There are currently about 50 million scholarly journal articles published online—with another 2.5 million being added every year. Looking in from the outside, one might think researchers would be exuberant over today’s overflowing pipeline of scientific content.
Unfortunately, the reality is not so rosy.
For scientists and researchers, the sheer volume of content can feel less like a blessing and more like a curse. Indeed, narrowing down the cascade of citations to determine which ones might best support their research is a harrowing process.
Attempting to siphon off only the best, most useful content—from a full-pressure fire hose of scientific literature, citations, patents and the like—is often a losing proposition. Unless researchers are well equipped to harness this influx of content, they risk missing out on the most useful information and insights.
Consider these sobering stats:
- 1/3 of papers account for 80% of all citations
- 12% of medical papers are never cited
To overcome these challenges, it’s critical for researchers to choose their search tools wisely—and to understand how they work.
Deciphering Discovery Portals
Researchers who can successfully exploit today’s goldmine of content—via the skillful use of search and workflow tools—will enjoy significant advantage in the race to scientific invention and discovery.
The good news is that there are plenty of discovery portals to choose from. The bad news is that there are plenty of discovery portals to choose from! That is, with so many options it can be hard to know where to start. To complicate matters, the various portals don’t all function in the same way or offer access to the same types of content.
To ensure an efficient and fruitful discovery process, it is critical for researchers to choose their search portals wisely—and to know how to use them effectively.
In this Scientific Content Discovery blog series, we will focus on some of the most popular discovery portals to explain how they work, what they do well, and where they might be lacking.
In the next post, we will shine a light on the key elements every researcher should know about PubMed. Stay tuned!