CoCites: New Online Literature Search Tool Launched by Dr. Cecile Janssens
Category : News/Events
Why Use CoCites?
A major challenge in writing theses we see over and over again is that students struggle to find relevant literature. This no surprise as finding literature requires quite some expertise in how to use keywords and how to select the right keywords. CoCites takes that burden away.
How is CoCites Different from Other Search Tools?
Many search engines start with entering some keywords to find at least one article that is exactly what you are looking for. Rather than trying alternative keywords to find more articles, you can click on the co-citation plug-in and find those articles in one click.
CoCites starts from articles, not keywords, and finds articles on the same specific topic. It finds and ranks articles that are cited together with the ‘query’ article. It’s based on a simple principle: when many authors (experts) cite two articles together, it’s more likely that the articles are on a similar topic. This is already an old principle and also used in the search algorithm of Google. CoCites uses the principle in a different way, which creates an informative ranking of related articles.
Testimonial by The Confounder’s Managing Editor, Duncan Mahood, MPH
For a long time I struggled to understand why a company like Google, whose main product was a search algorithm, became such a dominant player in the technology revolution (and now the global economy). How could there be so much economic value in a search algorithm, even a good one? The answer becomes clear when you have the opportunity to compare one tool to another. This experience happened recently for me when I first tried CoCites, the new article search tool from Dr. Cecile Janssens. I had recently been working on a literature review in which our PubMed search terms returned hundreds of articles, of which only about 10%(!) were relevant. We had to sift through a LOT of noise before we could identify the articles we really needed. It was an extremely inefficient process. However, when I used CoCites, all of the top articles returned were directly relevant to our topic of study. Not 10%, not most, ALL of them. Like Google’s algorithm, a revolutionary step forward in search efficiency can have a monumental impact on the way we perform research. The value became obvious to me immediately. In epidemiology, better, more thorough background research translates to lives saved.
If you are working on your thesis or any background research on a public health topic, I would encourage you to download the plugin and try it for yourself!
How to Download CoCites on Your Computer
- Open up a new window in Google Chrome or Firefox
- Click here to go the CoCites Website
- Click the “Download” button to install the free plug-in
- Start your search!
Check out @cecilejanssens and @CoCites on Twitter to see more #epitwitter reactions to this great new tool!