As a cancer researcher at the Ontario Cancer Institute at Princess Margaret Hospital, Sam Molyneux experienced firsthand how daunting it can be to stay abreast of burgeoning scientific research. Between 2,000 and 4,000 scholarly articles are published daily in biomedicine alone. To help filter the material, he co-founded Meta (formerly Sciencescape), an extraordinary tool enabling scientists, clinicians, educators and students to stay on top of breaking research papers, explore historical scientific breakthroughs and incorporate new ideas, findings, methods and technologies into their work.
Using the Southern Ontario Smart Computing Innovation Platform (SOSCIP) systems, Meta is able to analyze more than 25 million papers from the PubMed database, as well as through full-text partnerships with dozens of publishers. Users can subscribe to the fields, researchers, journals and labs/institutions that they want to follow, as well as discover the papers most relevant to their research using Meta’s powerful search capabilities. The platform sorts and organizes articles in real time using Eigenfactor algorithms, which determine a paper’s influence by tracking both the number of citations and quality of the sources. Meta also provides a visual of the data in charts that allow users to explore the history of research on any given topic and identify the most influential papers over time.
The Meta team received SmartStart funding as part of OCE’s partnership with Extreme Startups and gained further support through OCE’s Market Readiness Program. Its literature discovery platform is currently used by over 34,000 users with a focus on research topics in biomedicine. The team is now working on the next generation of its platform and services, scheduled for commercial launch this fall.
Return on Innovation
- Currently employs 30 full-time team members
- Projects hiring 30 more employees in the next two years
- Attracted $10.5 million in seed and Series A financing
- OCE investment: $157,500
OCE©2015 Last updated 10/2015