Sciencescape cataloguing research papers everywhere, one essay at a time

Startup name: Sciencescape
Presenter: Sam Molyneux, CEO and co-founder
Funding: Closed seed funding of $1.1 million

Startup premise:

Sam Molyneux has always been involved in research. In a past life, before becoming a startup entrepreneur and founding Sciencescape, Molyneux studied cancer genomics. So early on, he saw a need for a way of cataloguing the high volume of life sciences research out there.

In giving his pitch at Extreme Startups Demo Day, Molyneux noted there are more than 22 million papers out there, and thousands of digital journals when there were only hundreds of print journals before the Internet existed. This is what he calls a “publication overload.”

“You always have to check [databases] to stay current,” he said. “There are millions of researchers scooping each other and wasting time … Today, we lack the essential plumbing to organize research.”

Enter Sciencescape, which aims to track peer-reviewed research in the life sciences field and allow researchers to see what’s being published elsewhere in the world. The network is currently divided into categories like genes, diseases, genetic disorders, well-known people and other fields of research common to the life sciences.

(Image: Sciencescape screenshot)
(Image: Sciencescape screenshot)

Users will be able to add articles to their own libraries and broadcast what they’re reading, pushing it to their research team members’ feeds so that everyone’s aware of other research taking place.

The current model also allows users to see research about any given topic, mapped out into a graph or chart to show the peaks on that topic, or most important discoveries over time.

“Researchers have never seen their world of research this way,” he said.

Eventually, Molyneux and the team at Sciencescape hope to expand the service to chemistry, physics, the social sciences and other areas that involve academia.

And with all the data out there for anyone interested in sifting through it and analyzing it, this goal is becoming an increasingly important one, said Chris O’Neill, managing director of Google Canada. O’Neill is a mentor to Sciencescape.

“Sciencescape will … allow people to connect the dots, to make better hypotheses and ultimately lead to transformation of [government and health] services,” he said. “[Sciencescape] will become a de facto research dissemination platform.”

“I know [the Sciencescape team is] going to make a dent in the universe,” he said.

Sciencescape has currently closed a seed funding round of about $1.1 million.

Sciencescape created the video below to explain their research platform:

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Candice So
Candice So
Candice is a graduate of Carleton University and has worked in several newsrooms as a freelance reporter and intern, including the Edmonton Journal, the Ottawa Citizen, the Globe and Mail, and the Windsor Star. Candice is a dog lover and a coffee drinker.

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