Finding the right research article has been made much easier thanks to a new search application developed by Brisbane-based Leximancer and piloted at The University of Queensland (UQ) using ScienceDirect – an online scientific research platform from Dutch company, Elsevier.

Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, supplied the ScienceDirect content to UQ start-up company Leximancer to create Needlz for academic and commercial researchers.

UQ students and academics can access Needlz via the SciVerse hub, Scopus and ScienceDirect search results on the UQ library website.  A training video is available on the library website, Leximancer website, and YouTube (see below).

Leximancer CEO, Mac Exon-Taylor, said Needlz aimed to save researchers significant time and effort when searching for the right information from multiple sources.

“Needlz demonstrates the power of Leximancer’s proprietary technology to quickly and accurately analyse text, which helps users locate the critical themes of any kind of document much faster than reading every abstract of every title that comes up in a standard search.

“The diversity and volume of research undertaken at The University of Queensland provides an excellent scenario for piloting Needlz with ScienceDirect, which is the largest and most widely accessed database of academic journal articles in the world,” Mr Exon-Taylor said.

“Working with Elsevier and UQ’s library staff had opened up new possibilities for Leximancer-based software to improve the search experience for UQ academics as well as millions of users worldwide.”

Needlz is the latest release from Leximancer, which was established in 2005 by UniQuest, UQ’s main commercialisation company. Leximancer’s current suite of text analytics and customer insight software is used by companies around the world, including more than 100 universities.

UniQuest Managing Director, David Henderson, said that it was fitting for Leximancer to launch Needlz at UQ.

“Leximancer is a company based on technology developed at this university, so it has a keen understanding of what professional researchers need,” Mr Henderson said.

“With the Needlz application, Leximancer continues to offer practical solutions for one of its key markets, while highlighting the growing interest from global industry players in Australian university-based innovation.”

Rafael Sidi, Elsevier’s Vice President of Product Management, Applications Marketplace and Developer Network, said the application was a good example of collaboration between Elsevier, Leximancer and The University of Queensland to provide a new complement in the company’s research platform.

“We are glad that Leximancer chose to use ScienceDirect content to build this solution for The University of Queensland as it will be a valuable work flow solution for the research community,” Mr Sidi said.

While Needlz is exclusively available via the UQ library website for now, a number of other Australian and international organisations have expressed interest in the product for their research communities.


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