This guide highlights multifaceted browser alternatives to mainstream search tools that researchers may regularly use by default. There are many reliable yet underutilized applications that facilitate access to and discovery of subject matter specific documents and sources. Free applications included here also offer collaboration tools, resources to build and manage repositories, to employ data visualization, to create and apply metadata management, citations, bibliographies, document discovery and data relationship analysis.
Amazon Browser powered by TouchGraph is a tool for browsing the mass of literature, music and film contained in the Amazon database, by exploring links between related items. This will launch Amazon Browser in a new window, containing your search terms in the central node, with links to the first 10 search results in the surrounding nodes. Double-clicking on one of the surrounding nodes will expand the graph to include the first 10 related articles. Clicking on the ‘inf’ icon above each node will display a hint window containing the summary, a link to prices from international Amazon stores, one recommended customer review, and a link that will direct you to the item at Amazon.com, from where you can read more information, add to your shopping cart or wish list and checkout.
ambiently – Discover Related Websites for Every Webpage You Browse
Ambiently semantically connects webpages of similar or related meanings together. Click the Ambient Page” bookmarklet on your browser to find unexpected and useful websites for any webpage you are viewing. Ambiently is a startup company developing web applications. Envisioning the broad usage and benefits of creating a page-centric “ambient web” for every page on the web, Ambiently aims to create a new, richer web browsing and search experience for all web users.
AuthorMapper, an online tool for visualizing scientific research, enables document discovery based on author locations and geographic maps. Integrating content and mapping technology, AuthorMapper provides an easy-to-use, dynamic interface that allows you to: a) Explore patterns in scientific research; b) Identify new and historic literature trends; c) Discover wider relationships; and d) Locate other experts in your field.
BASE – Bielefeld Academic Search Engine
BASE is one of the world’s most voluminous search engines especially for academic web resources. BASE provides more than 100 million documents from more than 5,000 sources. You can access the full texts of about 60% of the indexed documents for free (Open Access). BASE is operated by Bielefeld University Library. They are indexing the metadata of all kinds of academically relevant resources – journals, institutional repositories, digital collections etc. – which provide an OAI interface and use OAI-PMH for providing their contents (see their Golden Rules for Repository Managers and learn more about OAI at the Open Archives Initiative or Wikipedia). The index is continuously enhanced by integrating further sources (you can suggest a source which is not indexed yet). We are working on several new features like a claiming service for authors within the ORCID DE project.
Better World Flux
Better World Flux is a beautiful interactive visualization of information on what really matters in life. Indicators like happiness, life expectancy, and years of schooling are meaningfully displayed in a colourful flowing Flux. Better World Flux visually communicates the world state in terms of standards of living and quality of life for many countries and how this has changed, and mostly improved, over a period of up to 50 years. This site is a tool for building a consensus, telling a story and sharing it, all whilst raising awareness for the UN Millennium Development Goals.
BibSonomy – The Blue Social Bookmark and Publication Sharing System
BibSonomy helps you to organize your scientific work. Use BibSonomy to collect publications and bookmarks, to collaborate with your colleagues, and to discover interesting researches for your daily work. Features include: 1) Collect – Ready your browser for BibSonomy: Using BibSonomy you can easily create collections of bookmark and publication posts. Just insert bookmarks and publications. You can do this even faster with our BibSonomy browser add-ons or bookmarklets. In addition, you can also use ISBN, ISSN, DOI, or barcodes to have the insert publication form filled up automatically for you. Use tags to organize the posts in your collection. If you choose them carefully, tags are a very powerful instrument; 2) Manage – Easily create bibliographies: BibSonomy helps you create bibligraphies for scientific papers. If you use a specific tag for each bibliography and assign it to all your paper posts accordingly, you can use the tag to find all papers of the bibliography. Afterwards, you can export your publication list in the desired format. BibSonomy supports a lot of formats, e. g. Microsoft Word Reference Manager, EndNote, and BibTeX; 3) Collaborate – Find colleagues or fellow students and use groups for collaboration: Use the search to find other users. On a users page, you can add them as friends. In the friends overview you can see which posts you are sharing with you friends and which posts your friends are sharing with you. Groups offer easier means for collaboration. When adding new posts, set if the post should be private, visible for all, or only visible for certain groups. Because of copyright documents are only visible private. Within a group, they can be made visible to other group members; and 4) Discover – Find interesting content: Discover new interesting publications for your scientific activities. The fulltext search of BibSonomy helps you doing so. Beyond that, you can use the search field to filter your post lists by tags, authors and users. Be inspired by the tag clouds. Click on interesting tags, to filter the post lists for special topics. This way, you can browse through topics easily and find related contents by concept.
CORE’s mission is to aggregate all open access research outputs from repositories and journals worldwide and make them available to the public. In this way CORE facilitates free unrestricted access to research for all.
Data Visualization and Big Data Analytics
Datameer’s extensive library of widgets includes tables, graphs, charts, diagrams, maps, and tag clouds which enables users to create simple dashboards or beautiful visualizations. The end result, data visualizations that communicate data. Beyond static business intelligence dashboards, Datameer provides a Business Infographics™ desiger where your data visualizations have no built-in constraints. With support for shapes such as arrows, icons and more, users can highlight or accent anything in an infographic or dashboard.
Facebook Browser by TouchGraph
TouchGraph Facebook Browser lets you see how your friends are connected, and who has the most photos together. Explore your networks by graphing photos from anyone’s album, or view the connections between members of a group.
Figshare – Store, Share, Discover Research
figshare is a repository where users can make all of their research outputs available in a citable, shareable and discoverable manner. figshare allows users to upload any file format to be previewed in the browser so that any research output, from posters and presentations to datasets and code, can be disseminated in a way that the current scholarly publishing model does not allow. The figshare team now spans 3 continents and specializes in building best of breed software to securely and persistently store, manage and visualize data in a robust and scalable manner. Get more citations for all of the outputs of your academic research over 5000 citations of figshare content to date
Gephi – The Open Graph Viz Platform
Gephi is the leading visualization and exploration software for all kinds of graphs and networks. Gephi is open-source and free. Runs on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Gephi is a tool for data analysts and scientists keen to explore and understand graphs. Like Photoshop™ but for graph data, the user interacts with the representation, manipulate the structures, shapes and colors to reveal hidden patterns. The goal is to help data analysts to make hypothesis, intuitively discover patterns, isolate structure singularities or faults during data sourcing. It is a complementary tool to traditional statistics, as visual thinking with interactive interfaces is now recognized to facilitate reasoning. This is a software for Exploratory Data Analysis, a paradigm appeared in the Visual Analytics field of research. Applications include: a) Exploratory Data Analysis: intuition-oriented analysis by networks manipulations in real time; b) Link Analysis: revealing the underlying structures of associations between objects; c) Social Network Analysis: easy creation of social data connectors to map community organizations and small-world networks; d) Biological Network analysis: representing patterns of biological data; and e) Poster creation: scientific work promotion with hi-quality printable maps.
Information Visualization Resources on the Web
A comprehensive site listing information visualization resources available on the Internet with heavy emphasis based on academic sources.
Integrating Information Visualization and Retrieval for WWW Information Discovery
An important technology in knowledge discovery is to access the desired information from the large amount of data stored on the WWW. At present, such information can be accessed by a browser itself or by using a keyword search function. However, browsing is a time consuming task where a user must access individual pages one by one. Furthermore, in keyword searches, it is difficult for users to provide reasonable keywords in knowledge discovery processes. This paper outlines an approach for integrating information visualization and retrieval into WWW information discovery. In this approach, the link structure of a web site is displayed in a 3-D hyperbolic tree in which the height of a node (corresponding to a web page) within the tree indicates a user’s “interest” for each page. Here, interest is calculated by a fitting function between a page and a user-supplied query (nested keywords). This measure can be used to filter uninteresting pages, reducing the size of the link structure. Furthermore, each web page is modeled as semi-structured data and can also be displayed as a hyperbolic tree in which the result of query evaluation is visible.
KartOO is a metasearch engine with visual display interfaces. When you click on OK, KartOO launches the query to a set of search engines, gathers the results, compiles them and represents them in a series of interactive maps through a proprietary algorithm
Knoema Knowledge Platform
Knoema is a knowledge platform. The basic idea is to connect data with analytical and presentation tools. As a result, we end with one uniformed platform for users to access, present and share data-driven content. Within Knoema, we capture most aspects of a typical data use cycle: accessing data from multiple sources, bringing relevant indicators into a common space, visualizing figures, applying analytical functions, creating a set of dashboards, and presenting the outcome.
Knowledge Discovery 2019 Subject Tracer™
A Subject Tracer monitoring knowledge discovery resources including a number of information visualization research browsers. Powered by bots and continually updated. Sources listed alphabetically with name and URL.
Lazy Scholar – Browser Extension
Finds free scholarly full texts, metrics, and provides quick citation and sharing links automatically. Features include: a) Automatic Full Text Search – Open any scholarly article and Lazy Scholar gets to work searching for a free full text; b) New Recommendations – Lazy Scholar can learn what topics you like to read and scans new PubMed listings to suggest new papers; c) Metrics – Lazy Scholar provides various citation metrics. (Google Scholar, Microsoft Academic, Web of Science; Impact factor, Altmetric, etc); d) Search History – Can’t find that paper you opened yesterday? Lazy Scholar saves your history and provides an interface to find it; e) Quick Citation – A pre-formed citation available in over 900 citation styles; and f) Related Papers – Quickly identify other papers you may want to read.
Open Access Button
Free, legal research articles delivered instantly or automatically requested from authors. Give them a scholarly paper and they will search thousands of sources with millions of articles to link you to free, legal, full text articles instantly. If they can’t get you access, they will start a request for you. They request articles from authors, and guide them on making the work available to you and everyone who needs it. You can do this from their website, browser extensions, tools for libraries or their API. Take your pick ….
Panopticlick – Is Your Browser Safe Against Tracking?
When you visit a website, online trackers and the site itself may be able to identify you – even if you’ve installed software to protect yourself. It’s possible to configure your browser to thwart tracking, but many people don’t know how. Panopticlick will analyze how well your browser and add-ons protect you against online tracking techniques. We’ll also see if your system is uniquely configured—and thus identifiable—even if you are using privacy-protective software.
Point – Use Point To Send and Discuss Webpages with Friends
Use Point To Send and Discuss Webpages with Friends. Features include: a) The quickest way to send a link – With Point, you can send a link without leaving the page or app you are in; b) Everyone’s on the same page – Point sits alongside what you’re sharing, allowing you to easily quote the best parts; c) All your links in one place – Point saves everything you send or receive in your inbox – accessible from our browser extension and iPhone app; and d) You don’t need friends on Point – While Point works best with a few close friends, it also works fabulously with email contacts.
Scientific Data Repository – Real Time Visualization and Exploration Techniques
This project is the first to combine the notion of a data repository with real-time visual analytics for interactive data mining and exploratory analysis on the web. State-of-the-art statistical techniques are combined with real-time data visualization giving the ability for researchers to seamlessly find, explore, understand, and discover key insights in a large number of public donated data sets. This large comprehensive collection of data is useful for making significant research findings as well as benchmark data sets for a wide variety of applications and domains and includes relational, attributed, heterogeneous, streaming, spatial, and time series data as well as non-relational machine learning data. All data sets are easily downloaded into a standard consistent format. They also have built a multi-level interactive visual analytics engine that allows users to visualize and interactively explore the data in a free-flowing manner.
SEO Browser by TouchGraph
TouchGraph SEO Browser reveals the network of connectivity between websites, as reported by Google’s database of related sites.
Sputnik – An Open Source Intelligence Browser Extension
Sputnik is an extension to quickly and easily search IPs, Domains, File Hashes, and URLs using free Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) resources.
T2K – Text to Knowledge
Knowledge discovery is the process of uncovering relationships in data previously unknown and extracting this knowledge from the data. Even using current data mining methods, understanding these data relationships can be a difficult task. Data stores in any given problem area are often huge, forcing decision-makers to construct complex queries to reflect the multiple dimensions of their problem domain. These decision-makers would benefit from tools that help highlight potential “information nuggets” and that help in the formation of the complex queries. Often, a large percentage of these data stores is in the form of text. The T2K (Text to Knowledge) tool provides text mining and analysis capabilities that have been specially designed to operate in and capitalize upon the complexity of rich natural language domains of very large stores of text and multimedia documents. T2K is a library of D2K modules that implements sophisticated algorithms for text analysis.
Thinkmap is a software platform for developing customized visualization interfaces to complex data. The software provides a system for crafting visualizations with structured data in order to make the information more intuitive, accessible, manageable and meaningful. Thinkmap visualizations can make relationships in the data more apparent than can traditional line or column displays and can improve understanding and discovery.
Tinderbox – The Tool for Notes
Tinderbox maps your notes as you make them. Build relationships by arranging notes, organizing them with shape and color, linking them. Tinderbox lets you record ideas quickly and keep them where you’ll find them again when you need them
TorchBrowser – Free and Unique Powerful Browsing
Torch is a free and unique software that offers you powerful browsing together with built-in media downloading and sharing features. Torch Browser is based on the Chromium technology platform, giving it fast browsing capabilities. With Torch, you can share sites you like, download torrents, accelerate downloads and grab online media – all directly from the browser. Everything you need is a just click away with Torch, so you don’t have to use or download additional programs and tools. Their software has a user friendly interface, is easy to install, and safe to use.
Tor Project – Tor Browser
The Tor software protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world: it prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location, and it lets you access sites which are blocked. The Tor Browser lets you use Tor on Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux without needing to install any software. It can run off a USB flash drive, comes with a pre-configured web browser to protect your anonymity, and is self-contained (portable).
TouchGraph – Visualize and Interact with Information
TouchGraph was founded in 2001 with the creation of the original visual browser for Google. Since then, millions of people have used TouchGraph’s tools to discover the relationships contained in Google, Amazon, Wikis, and other popular information sources. Our commercial applications include solutions for companies in management consulting, social networking, and mass media. TouchGraph’s approach is unique because their highest priorities are utility and ease of use. They start with the premise of a scientific or business application, and work to create a clear and intuitive interface that gets their customers the results they need. They avoid superfluous artistic effects in favor of a clear presentation. Their applications are designed to simplify navigation, filtering, and visual metaphors. They reveal important relationships and details in your data without reducing the richness of the information itself.
Unpaywall – Research Papers for Free
Millions of research papers are available for free on government and university web servers, legally uploaded by the authors themselves, with the express permission of publishers. Unpaywall automatically harvests these freely shared papers from thousands of legal institutional repositories, preprint servers, and publishers, making them all availabe to you as you read. Unpaywall users are able to read over 52% of research papers for free–without having to pay money, fuss with a VPN, or use pirate sites like Sci-Hub. That’s because we’re built on a database of millions of open-access articles harvested from thousands of servers worldwide. When you browse to a paywalled paper, we check to see if we have a free copy. If we do, you’ll see a green tab…just click, and read.
Visualizing Bibliographic MetaData – A Virtual (Book) Spine Viewer by Naomi Dushay
User interfaces for digital information discovery often require users to click around and read a lot of text in order to find the text they want to read—a process that is often frustrating and tedious. This is exacerbated because of the limited amount of text that can be displayed on a computer screen. To improve the user experience of computer mediated information discovery, information visualization techniques are applied to the digital library context, while retaining traditional information organization concepts. In this article, the “virtual (book) spine” and the virtual spine viewer are introduced. The virtual spine viewer is an application which allows users to visually explore large information spaces or collections while also allowing users to hone in on individual resources of interest. The virtual spine viewer introduced here is an alpha prototype, presented to promote discussion and further work. [Note: 2004 Publication but worth a read]
Visual.ly – Empowers People To Tell Stories With Data
Visually is the largest data visualization showcase in the world, providing endless inspiration for designers, publishers and enthusiasts. Visually’s free tools make it easy for
anyone to create beautiful, personalized infographics in minutes. What stories will you tell?
Vivaldi – Power User Browser
Download all the source code and assets of any website. Features include: a) Key Benefits – Easiest way to download a website; b) Platform Independent – The web based interface enables you to use website ripper straight in your browser on any operating system and without downloading or configuring any software. Use it when you need to quickly download website; c) Fast Previews – Website Downloader offers a fast preview of the download result hosted on our servers without consuming your computer’s precious disk space. After the preview you can download web page or download entire website; and d) Simplicity – Website Downloader is super simple and easy to use, yet it comes with advanced functionality such as only downloading a subdirectory or certain pages from a website (as a web page downloader). Website grabber is the easiest way to download a website. Website Downloader, Website Copier or Website Ripper allows you to download websites from the Internet to your local hard drive on your own computer. Website Downloader arranges the downloaded site by the original websites relative link-structure.
WhatRuns – Discover What Runs a Website
WhatRuns is a new but advanced browser extension that helps you identify web technologies used on any website. Our proprietary pattern recognition algorithm efficiently detects even the latest web technologies and plugins used on websites. WhatRuns extension can be used for competitor analysis, sales intelligence and website profiling.
Zotero – Personal Research Assistant
Zotero is the only research tool that automatically senses content in your web browser, allowing you to add it to your personal library with a single click. Whether you’re searching for a preprint on arXiv.org, a journal article from JSTOR, a news story from the New York Times, or a book from your university library catalog, Zotero has you covered with support for thousands of sites. Zotero collects all your research in a single, searchable interface. You can add PDFs, images, audio and video files, snapshots of web pages, and really anything else. Zotero automatically indexes the full-text content of your library, enabling you to find exactly what you’re looking for with just a few keystrokes.