JournalMap: A new scientific literature geotagged search engine

JournalMap is a new scientific literature search engine that empowers you to find relevant research based on location and biophysical variables as well as traditional keyword searches. It is a cooperative project between the USDA-ARS Jornada Experimental Range, The Nature Conservancy, and is a component of the Landscape Toolbox. JournalMap has partnered with publishers Taylor & Francis, Pensoft, and IOP to georeference all publications in these journals. Individual researchers are also encouraged to directly upload their own published research locations.

How does it work? Publications are geotagged based on reported location information and plotted on a searchable world map showing where the research was conducted allowing you to easily visualize the research occurring in specific areas and show you where data gaps might exist. JournalMap allows you to refine your searches using publication information (author, year, journal title), region (country, state), and environmental filters relating to climate (precipitation, temperature, growing degree days, aridity index), landform (elevation, slope), soils (surface texture, depth), and landcover (biome, landcover type). Geotagged locations are obtained directly from the published literature and contain records from large geotagging efforts as well as those submitted by users.

For example, users can review study site location patterns by journal, build a geographic resume of their own research locations, and design collections based on the user’s topic(s) of interest.

Why do this? Scientists and resource managers struggling to deal with rapidly changing environments and evolving threats need quick access to relevant research and descriptions of natural systems. The advent of semantic and aggregation searching (e.g., Google Scholar, Web of Science) has made it easier to find useful literature across disciplines and publishers. However, the ability to find out what is known about a specific ecosystem, species or landscape is hindered by current search technologies that rely on keyword, topic, text, and author searching – concepts of publication cataloging and searching that date back to the late 1800’s. Much of the published research conducted on ecosystems around the world is tied to specific places, and these locations can be exploited to search for literature based on geography in addition to traditional searching.

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