Bending the Arc of Science Toward Discovery


At DiscoveryEngine, we are enabling science by creating the first and only quantifiable measure of Discovery. For the first time, the measure of scientific value will be open to the opinions and experience of the entire scientific community. And for the first time we will have the means to understand where, how, and why we create new discoveries.

Come explore and participate. Be a part of the change you want to see.

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Bending the Arc of Science Toward Discovery


At DiscoveryEngine, we are enabling science by creating the first and only quantifiable measure of Discovery. For the first time, the measure of scientific value will be open to the opinions and experience of the entire scientific community. And for the first time we will have the means to understand where, how, and why we create new discoveries.

Come explore and participate. Be a part of the change you want to see.

Why Measure Discovery?

Science is very good at recognizing and rewarding the exceptional.  But focusing only on the very peak of the mountain means that you can miss all that’s holding it up – and we think that’s because there is no systematic and direct way to measure the important qualities of science.

Photo by Bernhard_Staehli/iStock / Getty Images

Right now, all of the quantifiable metrics in science focus exclusively on social impact – how many times is a paper read, discussed, Tweeted, cited? And as a result, the tools we have to assess the value of scientific contributions are indirect, slow, and lack context.  Most importantly, because they do not measure the fundamental qualities of science, they cannot measure quality.

And so we asked: 

what if you could measure discovery?


what if you could measure discovery?


To measure something, you need to know what it is. You know what Discovery is.  It’s that thing that you work for every day and most nights too.  It’s what got you into science in the first place. But if you look up "discovery" in the dictionary, you might find that the definition is so circular that you really don’t know much more than when you started. 

 From Silberschatz and Tuzhilin (1995)

From Silberschatz and Tuzhilin (1995)

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So we need a new definition. One that relies on quantifiable characteristics but that also takes into account the idea that discovery is not a binary proposition – rather it is a continuum of new ideas and concepts that continuously define and redefine paradigms of scientific understanding.

It turns out that Artificial Intelligence researchers figured this out about 20 years ago when they defined Interestingness as the extent to which new information changes your understanding of the subject.  You (and we) would call it Discovery – and we have created DiscoveryEngine to measure it.

New-Discover-Def.png

Measuring Discovery


Measuring Discovery


DiscoveryEngine will record ratings across three axes – all of them important qualities in science – providing a comprehensive aggregate measure of quality.

  • Discovery Value – To what degree does this information affect your understanding?
  • Actionability – To what degree will this information change practice in the field? 
  • Confidence – How well do the data support the conclusions?

 

With DiscoveryEngine, for the first time, you will have an opportunity to provide your input as to how a particular paper, or image, or dataset has changed your understanding of the subject.

 
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Using Discovery


Using Discovery


These data will allow real-time rewards for new Discoveries, and systematic analyses of how to best promote them. This direct, multi-dimensional view of quality in research, that is timely, democratic and germane, will provide benefits across all levels of the scientific enterprise.  With DiscoveryEngine we can:

  • Make better and more rational decisions about how to promote environments, funding mechanisms, and institutions that enable Discovery
  • Provide a more rapid and sensitive measure of emerging trends and help identify those with the most promise
  • Create direct rewards for scientists and for studies that show high Discovery Value
  • Enhance search of scholarly materials (e.g., with meta-journals that identify recent high Discovery Value papers)
  • Provide a reliable and quantitative means to assess bodies of work, journals, and individual papers
  • Provide a means to assess the value of Open Access journals and papers through post-publication peer review
  • Support established and emerging pedagogical methods by developing useful tools to enhance teaching and curriculum development

And, most importantly, we can help reorient science toward one of its most fundamental goals - Discovery.