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The University of Bolton Library

Information Seeking

Literature Mapping Tools

Literature mapping tools are an emerging field of technologies that use open scholarly metadata to identify and visualise relationships between academic papers. 

A range of tools are highlighted below though this is not exhaustive, and their features and capabilities vary. Each of these tools is free to use, though some may offer paid versions with extra features. The University of Bolton does not access to the premium versions of these tools. 

Connected Papers

Connected Papers is a unique, visual tool to help researchers and applied scientists find and explore papers relevant to their field of work.

Enter the details of a paper and Connected Papers will build you a graph of similar papers in the field. The similarity metric is based on shared citations and references.

The free tier of Connected Papers allows up to five literature graphs per month. There are paid tiers that allow for a greater number of graphs, though Connected Papers say that the free tier is enough for most users. 


Research Rabbit


Inciteful features two different visualisation tools: Paper Discovery and the Literature Connector

The Paper Discovery tool builds a network of papers from citations. You can find the most similar papers, important papers as well as prolific authors and institutions. The Literature Connector tool allows you to enter two papers and it will give you an interactive visualization showing you how they are connected by the literature. 

See Use Cases for a range of ways to use Inciteful. 

Open Knowledge Maps