BRAINWORKS is a tool to discover comprehensive scientific theories through knowledge integration across multiple fields, scales, units of analysis, and species. A theory is hereby defined as a testable set of mathematical or natural language statements that answers a why/what/how question, involving multiple variables, facts, or hypotheses. A scientific theory is here represented by a semantic triple codifying the theoretical statement in the form of subject–predicate–object expressions (e.g., “Hippocampal Long Term Potentiation”-“Correlate Of”-“Memory”).

The Need: The scientific knowledge landscape is vast, complex and rapidly expanding. In 2020, an additional 2 million new peer-reviewed papers were added to the scientific literature, which is now estimated to contain over 60 million works. At this volume, it would take a single individual almost 20 years (without breaks) to perform a 5-minute review of each paper written in 2020. Even narrow subdomains of scientific investigation now produce a level of output that is intractable for a single scholar to master: over 100,000 papers about the coronavirus pandemic were published in 2020, alone.

The Solution: As knowledge generation continues to outpace the ability of individual scientists to consume and integrate it, there is a critical need for technology tools that can organize, integrate, and represent the nuanced knowledge contained within the growing body of the scientific literature. BRAINWORKS is a web platform that addresses these needs by structuring the scientific literature as a dynamic and interactive knowledge graph. While development of the platform is ongoing, an alpha version of the tool is freely available online here.

The Innovation: BRAINWORKS is innovative because of its ability to represent scientific knowledge as well as the context governing its creation (funding, grants, authors, etc.). Furthermore, it provides a novel way to visualize the temporal evolution of scientific knowledge.

Technology Stack

The technology stack for BRAINWORKS consists of three layers: information, algorithms, visualization. Each layer was designed to function independently to maximize extensions of the technology stack for other use cases. To learn more about the technology stack, please visit the GitHub repository.


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