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Scientific Discovery Tools

What is Semantic Scholar?

Developed by the non-profit Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, Semantic Scholar is a free, AI-powered research and discovery tool for navigating the ever growing literature in all scientific domains. By applying artificial intelligence to extract the meaning from the scientific literature, Semantic Scholar allows scholars to navigate research much more efficiently than a traditional search engine.

The new discovery tool can help you:

  • Understand more about a paper at a glance 
  • Stay up-to-date in your field
  • Manage what you’re reading
  • Understand more about the topic you’re researching

Get Started!

You don't need an account to use the search engine, but creating an account allows you to take advantage of the many features the tool offers. 

To sign up for a free account, go to You can either create a new account, or link to one of your existing accounts: Google, Facebook or Twitter. (Institutional access through OpenAthens is not currently supported at McMaster.)

Now you are ready to search the ever growing corpus of scientific literature!

Start Exploring!

There are several sections in your search results:

  1. Powerful filter and sort functions.
  2. Most relevant authors highlighted.
  3. Quick actions at the article level, including TLDR ("Too Long Didn't Read" in beta, an automatically generated short summary of a paper), citation counts, link to full text, and other actions that could be added to your personal account. 
  4. Explore the topic of your search and related topics.

At the article level, key result is highlighted, citations are analyzed, and figures, tables and topics are extracted for you to scan the research and understand its impact quickly.

Tips & Tricks

  • Set your Account Preferences, Contact Preferences and Alert Preferences in Account. 
  • Create daily or weekly email alerts for authors, papers and topics related to your research.
  • Create Research Feeds using AI-Powered personalized recommendations by selecting papers relevant to your research, refine them by rating papers.
  • Build your Library by saving papers of interest to you. Organize your library via tags. 
  • Install Semantic Scholar browser extensions. Currently available for Chrome and Firefox. 
  • To access library-subscribed content seamlessly, the below tools for your browser are recommended: 
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