A new search application developed by UniQuest start-up Leximancer is being piloted at the University of Queensland (UQ), via an online research platform from Dutch company Elsevier.
Elsevier, which is based in Amsterdam, is regarded as a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services.
It has developed an online scientific research platform dubbed ScienceDirect, and has supplied the ScienceDirect content to UQ start-up Leximancer, which has created a search application known as Needlz.
Needlz is designed to make it easier for students and academics at the university to locate the right research articles.
Leximancer chief executive Max Exon-Taylor says Needlz aims 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,” Exon-Taylor says.
“[This] 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.”
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According to Exon-Taylor, the diversity and volume of research undertaken at the university provides an “excellent scenario” for piloting Needlz with ScienceDirect.
Exon-Taylor describes ScienceDirect as “the largest and most widely accessed database of academic journal articles in the world”.
“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,” he says.
Needlz is the latest release from Leximancer, which was established in 2005 by UniQuest following seven years of research and development by UQ’s Dr Andrew Smith.
Leximancer’s current suite of text analytics and customer insight software is used by companies around the world, including more than 100 universities.
According to UniQuest managing director David Henderson, it was fitting for Leximancer to launch Needlz at the university.
“Leximancer is a company based on technology developed at this university, so it has a keen understanding of what professional researchers need,” Henderson says.
“With the Needlz application, Leximancer [is] highlighting the growing interest from global industry players in Australian university-based innovation.”
Rafael Sidi, Elsevier vice president of product management, applications marketplace and developer network, also backed the pilot.
“We are glad that Leximancer chose to use ScienceDirect content to build this solution for the University of Queensland,” Sidi said in statement.
“It will be a valuable workflow solution for the research community.”
While Needlz is currently exclusive to UQ’s library website, a number of other Australian and international organisations have expressed interest in the product for their research communities.