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What is Inciteful?

Inciteful is a new take on the process of searching through academic literature and, as such, can be a bit confusing at first. The hope is that after a few minutes with these pages you’ll quickly get the hang of it.

Getting Started

The site was built from the ground up to be flexible. That means whether you are just skimming or are a power user, you should be able to accomplish what you need.

  • Go straight to the Quick Start section if you are the type who just wants to dive right in and figure it out as you go.

  • The Use Cases section goes into different ways of using Inciteful.

  • The How Does Inciteful Work? page is for those who want to get into the details.

  • The Power Users section goes in depth on how to get exactly the info you want out of the graph using the SQL query interface.

Why Inciteful?

The vast majority of academic search engines focus on “importance” (as measured by number of citations) and keyword matching to retrieve their results. They typically show you stats about who the papers cite and who cites those papers. But there is value and information in the underlying structure that citations provide and it is almost always ignored. Inciteful flips that on it’s head by making citations the center of it’s search process by:

  • Building a citation network centered around the paper(s) of your choice
  • Analyzing that network to surface the most interesting data

Each network, and the data within, is unique to your search based on the papers you gave it so you can be sure to get the most relevant results possible. With Inciteful’s unique approach you are presented not only with the most “important” papers in the graph, but also the most similar. This similarity measurement is from a class of algorithms called “link prediction” algorithms.

Link prediction algorithms are used most commonly in social networks to suggest people with whom you should be friends. The same concept is applied here but for citations i.e. who we think you might want to cite. This approach tends to surface more recent literature and helps you zero in on the state of the art more quickly than if you were just looking for the top cited papers. If you are interested in learning more, head over to our How Does Inciteful Work? and Graphs Explained sections.

Otherwise jump into the Quick Start section to dive right in.


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