Articles on: Getting Started

What is scite?

In this guide, we'll cover what scite fundamentally does.

What is scite?

scite is a tool which offers a quantitative and qualitative insight into how scientific publications cite each other.

Citations are everywhere. In scientific publishing, they're the mechanism by which we build knowledge; new research often cites existing literature to improve our collective understanding of a topic.

Today when we look at a scientific publication, the main thing discussed is how many times the publication was cited by others. It is purely quantitative, but not all citations are equal. When a paper is cited, there is textual context surrounding why a citation was made that can be inferred from the section the citation was made in, and what is said by the authors in the citing paper.

scite uses access to full-text articles and its deep learning model to tell you, for a given publication:
how many times it was cited by others
how it was cited by others by displaying the text where the citation happened from each citing paper
whether each citation offers supporting or contrasting evidence of the cited claims in the publication of interest, or simply mention it

Okay, how does it work?

scite processes full-text articles to build out its database of Smart Citations, which contain information about:
which papers are citing each other
the textual context of each citation and the location within the citing paper
a classification describing whether the citation is supporting, mentioning, or contrasting the cited work's claims

This source of data is used to build a variety of features. For example, you can find the scite report for a given paper and:
see and read each and every citation that was made to this paper by others
get aggregate information about the number of citations made, dis-aggregated by each classification type from our deep learning model
filter citations by additional attributes such as the section in the citing paper where the citation occurred, or whether the the citing publication was a book, research paper, preprint, etc.
search directly within the extracted text snippets to find relevant citations

To read more, see our article on how scite works here: How does scite work?

Where do you get your papers from?

We have indexing agreements with various publishers (Wiley, Cambridge University Press, etc.), sources such as preprint servers (arXiv, bioRxiv, and medRxiv), and so on. From each of our sources we are able to access full-text PDFs and XMLs.

What can I do with scite?

Our database of Smart Citations lends itself to a variety of features such as our:
Report Page, which lets you quickly see how a given publication has been cited by others (How do I use the scite report page?)
Reference Check, which allows you to upload a manuscript and quickly see how the references used have been cited by others and whether any are retracted or have editorial notices (How do I use the scite Reference Check?)
Advanced Search, which lets you search for topics with the ability to refine by information about how well supported or contrasted papers claims are
Custom Dashboards, which let you aggregate information on groups of articles based on DOIs you provide (How do I make and use Custom Dashboards?)
Zotero Plugin, which brings the power of scite into your library (scite Zotero Plugin)
Browser extension, which shows you the tallies of supporting, mentioning, and contrasting citations a paper has received when you're browsing on other sites (scite Browser Extension)

Updated on: 03/18/2021

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