Thursday, 31 May 2012

One year of Kleenk and a new way of spreading your research results

It's been exactly one year since our first launch, on 31st May 2011. Back then we had a different name "KontentLinks" and we were just at the beginning of an exciting journey. One year later, we're relaunching again, with a new mission, more focused on what we think is the biggest problem in the research community: spreading our research results.

Although nowadays there are a lot of platforms that allow people to share content, the research community has been very slow adopting Web 2.0 tools. Mendeley, and ResearchGate are the leading platforms in the field and they're doing a very good job. However, we think there's one thing that's constantly missing: the focus on the connections between the research works. Citations are the base for evaluating research results and although this is starting to change (i.e. altmetrics) there's no equivalent in the online space. We believe that researchers should be able to easily connect two pieces of research, creating a web of interconnected research results that can be explored by everybody, and ultimately be used for spreading new research results. And that's how Kleenk was born, a kleenk being simply a semantic connection between two scientific works which can be enriched with more details and evaluated and commented by the community.

The new Kleenk is exclusively focused on making it simple to create these connections. Key features include:
  • a simple way to create kleenks
  • a simple way of visualising kleenks, through automatically generated kleenk maps
  • public profile page with kleenks create by you or to your work
  • a simple kleenks feed and the possibility to follow researchers that you're interested in
  • integration with the Mendeley platform, for easy access to your papers
Obviously creating all the connections for existing papers requires a lot of work and time from the researchers part. That's why we went one step further and tried to imagine ways of bootstrapping the kleenks database in a way that it is simple and useful for the community. Today we're also launching an experimental search feature based on the Springer API. It works in a very simple way:
  1. you provide your search terms
  2. we use them to query the Springer database, both the general one and the open access one, and we gather as much meta-data as possible, including abstracts and full texts where available
  3. we then analyze all the results, and identify the most important connections by:
    • first analyzing the trends (the most important topics, keywords, etc) for your search;
    • based on the identified importance of different types of meta-data we compute how likely two papers are to be related (i.e. how many and what keywords they have in common);
    • then we also take into account some heuristic similarity algorithms which we run on titles, abstracts or full text where available;
    • after all pairs of documents have been analyzed and scored, we choose the most important ones and create the connections;
  4. finally, we also add any existing connections created by other users; this is especially important as it allows new research results to show up next to classical papers in a research topic.
The results are presented in the form of a kleenk map which helps researchers understand faster how the results connect to each other, what's important, and finally get faster to the papers they're interested in.

Obviously this is just the beginning and there's room for lots of improvements. For example now we only identify two types of connections: 'related to' and 'strongly related to'. We're currently experimenting, for the open access papers, with using the context in which a citation is made to identify the verb (type) that best describes the relation between the two papers.

We'll be providing more details about the new features over the comming weeks so follow our blog if you want to stay updated. And if you like what we're doing please drop us a comment, we really appreciate it.

Enjoy the new Kleenk,
The Kleenk Team

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Our very own SeedCamp experience

Hi there!

As we previously mentioned, we've been busy in this last week, attending SeedCamp in Paris! This was our first networking event in the business world, and we came home with a lot of things to think about! We were amazed at how much time it takes to create a seemingly simple 3-minute presentation. We're sharing ours with you, so that you can see what 3 days of our work look like:

We met a lot of very interesting people, and everyone there (even the competing teams) were very helpful in providing feedback on our idea. Stay tuned in the next few weeks for some exciting changes to kleenk!

We want to thank our mentors for their time spent devising clever questions to ask us and shoot down our assumptions :) In no particular order, they are:
It was a pleasure to talk to you, and we are indebted for your sharp feedback! We hope to meet again soon.

Monday, 5 December 2011

KLEENK at Mini Seedcamp Paris

We are pleased to announce that KLEENK has been selected among the 20 companies that are taking part in Mini Seedcamp Paris 2011. We are really looking forward to meet all the great mentors and gather feedback on how to make KLEENK better. You can find the full list of companies here:

After the event we will write a post about our Seedcamp experience, so follow us!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The first step towards the semantic layer of science: KLEENK adds support for CiTO

Quite a few of our users have asked us what exactly we expect as kleenk types and up until now our answer was: anything. Indeed, a kleenk can represent anything from a simple citation, to a generalization of a result, to a review or a critique. We deliberately left researchers enter any type they want between two papers so that popular types can emerge and ontologies be created bottom up. However, a little guidance and standardization is always welcome. A great effort that has been made in studying the different type of relations between papers is the Open Citations Project. For a quick overview of the project we recommend this blog post. "The Open Citations Project is global in scope [...] and it aims to make it possible to publish bibliographic information in RDF and to make citations links as easy to traverse as Web links."

Monday, 14 November 2011

Check out the new KLEENK presentation movie!

What better way to transmit the idea of a platform than through a simple movie?
Here's our new presentation movie:

Saturday, 12 November 2011

How are kleenks different from citations?

A fair question we got from one of our users is "How are kleenks different from citations?".

"...a citation is a reference to a published or unpublished source [...] an abbreviated alphanumeric expression (e.g. [Newell84]) embedded in the body of an intellectual work that denotes an entry in the bibliographic references section of the work for the purpose of acknowledging the relevance of the works of others to the topic of discussion at the spot where the citation appears." (Wikipedia)

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

How KLEENK can help researchers - Part 2

This is the second of a series of posts discussing how KLEENK can make research easier, more open and more collaborative.

Nowadays we are starting to see a growing interest in visual tools designed to help researchers explore scientific data in new ways such as graphs or maps. The Mendeley Binary Battle,, comes to confirm this trend with quite a few applications.  Collabgraph helps researchers visualize who is collaborating with who in their research field. Vyzkumap is a very interesting tool that allows researchers to see related papers in a very engaging way. Other examples are Mendeley's Evolving Network of Expertise and Knowledge, Living Science and MapMyField. You can find the complete list of submitted applications on

KLEENK is about connecting scientific content in a smart way, discussing and sharing these connections which are called "kleenks". Naturally, kleenks form a graph of smart connections in the universe of scientific content (articles, books, web sites, etc.). In order to help researchers manage and visualize these connections, KLEENK introduces the concept of "visual tag".