Research Tool Aims To Expand the Definition of Search Query
Boston-based nonprofit, the Institute for the
Study of Coherence and Emergence (ISCE), has launched a
research tool, Epi-Search, designed to allow researchers to write queries of scholarly materials
as long as 10,000 words. So, instead of using single keywords,
instance, can input entire articles, papers and book chapters to find
documents related to the subject.
tool's algorithms are intended to take
advantage of a document's context in order to find other materials that
be helpful. It can find documents that are like the document in the
also display key concepts and terms from the query and present them in
of word clouds.
to ISCE representatives, Epi-Search can
search the institute's own library of 5,000 books that have been read,
or quoted over the last 10 years by staff members. However, it can also
other databases like Google Scholar, PhilPaper, MIT CogNet and CiteSeer.
are several different ways college students
can take advantage of Epi-Search if, for instance, they are writing a
They can simply take their free-form notes and submit them. The site
recommend further reading materials and associated concepts or keywords.
can submit a preliminary draft of a paper to
find reference sources they could then cite. They can also submit the
draft to find other papers that are similar to theirs and could give
ideas to enhance their own work.
to a statement from ISCE, "Our goal is
to give the user an Internet version of serendipitously browsing in a
ISCE was founded in 1999 "to facilitate the conversation
between academics and practitioners regarding the implications of
thinking for the management of organizations." Along with providing
it presents a number of annual events and publishes scholarly journals.
Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.