Traditionally, getting an overview of an unknown field of research has been a daunting task. Our favourite search engines do not offer more than basic search functionality and specialized discovery tools are proprietary and very expensive. But fear not: thanks to the open science movements, the situation is changing.
The goal of Open Knowledge Maps is to revolutionize discovery of scientific knowledge with a visual interface that dramatically increases the visibility of research findings for science and society alike. We provide an open source web service that enables users to create a knowledge map for any research topic. Knowledge maps provide an instant overview of a field by showing the main areas of the field at a glance, and papers related to each area. This makes it possible to easily identify relevant papers and concepts. Furthermore, we highlight open access content, which can be read within the same interface. Users are thus able to conduct the whole discovery process in a single browser tab.
In addition, we want to turn discovery into an open and collaborative process. Most people are currently tackling discovery on their own – and therefore repeat the same process over and over again. By sharing the results of our discoveries, we can save valuable time and build on top of each other's knowledge. We want to create a space for collective knowledge mapping where different individuals and communities come together; for example, researchers and medical librarians can collaboratively map the newest research on a certain disease and openly share result of their efforts for the benefit of evidence-based practice and patients affected by this disease.