An Open-Source Tool to Accelerate Scientific Knowledge Discovery

Mozilla: “Timely and open access to novel outputs is key to scientific research. It allows scientists to reproduce, test, and build on one another’s work — and ultimately unlock progress.

The most recent example of this is the research into COVID-19. Much of the work was published in open access journals, swiftly reviewed and ultimately improving our understanding of how to slow the spread and treat the disease. Although this rapid increase in scientific publications is evident in other domains too, we might not be reaping the benefits. The tools to parse and combine this newly created knowledge have roughly remained the same for years.

Today, Mozilla Fellow Kostas Stathoulopoulos is launching Orion — an open-source tool to illuminate the science behind the science and accelerate knowledge discovery in the life sciences. Orion enables users to monitor progress in science, visually explore the scientific landscape, and search for relevant publications.


Orion collects, enriches and analyses scientific publications in the life sciences from Microsoft Academic Graph.

Users can leverage Orion’s views to interact with the data. The Exploration view shows all of the academic publications in a three-dimensional visualization. Every particle is a paper and the distance between them signifies their semantic similarity; the closer two particles are, the more semantically similar. The Metrics view visualizes indicators of scientific progress and how they have changed over time for countries and thematic topics. The Search view enables the users to search for publications by submitting either a keyword or a longer query, for example, a sentence or a paragraph of a blog they read online….(More)”.