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Our Search and Explore Algorithms
Our Search and Explore Algorithms

An outline of the algorithms behind Litmaps' Explore and Keyword Search tools.

Digl Dixon avatar
Written by Digl Dixon
Updated over a week ago


Search Algorithms

Algorithms are the methods Discover uses to recommend relevant papers. We have three algorithms to choose from:

Top Connected

Discover finds results with the highest amount of common references and/or citations to your inputs. Discover uses techniques like bibliographic coupling (co-citations) and falloff curve to prioritise results.

Co-authorship Search

Discover will analyse your inputs and identify common author collaborations. It will then recommend articles that feature similar authors.

Semantic Search

Discover will use AI-driven semantic analysis on the titles and abstracts of your inputs. It will then recommend similar articles based on content similarity. This is the only algorithm that does not use citations/references in calculating recommendations, so it's useful for finding papers that may have fewer citations or are from places you wouldn't normally check.

Keyword Search

Our search tech isn't as strong as other databases like Google Scholar. If you're looking to browse literature based on topic, we recommend searching using your other databases and bringing those articles into Litmaps for further discovery.

Looking up Known Articles

The fastest and most reliable methods for bringing a known article into Litmaps are:

  1. Paste the article's DOI into the search box

  2. Search using the whole title, but make sure to wrap the title in "quotes" – this is an exact match (see below) and will run much more quickly.

Advanced Search Operators

We use Elasticsearch to power our keyword search engine. We support several advanced search operators:

"" Match exact phrases – Ideal for title searches

- Exclude the next term

() Group terms

pre* Matches all possibilities after the given prefix

| Logical OR operator

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