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University of Houston: New open index of scholarly articles helps researchers connect

Go and get connected to this global research system. Graphic byMiguel Tovar/University of Houston

We have all needed scholarly articles to cite in our academic careers. Now, there is a place where researchers can get millions of them, all on one site.

Named after the Library of Alexandria, OpenAlex is an index of over 200 million scientific documents including publication sources, author information and research topics that can be used to conduct studies and build research tools. According to its founders, the goal of this index is to “create a comprehensive, interlinked database of the global research system.”

So, how can researchers use this database and why is it beneficial?

More data

After Microsoft announced the closure of the Microsoft Academic Graph, a non-profit scholarly service firm, OurResearch, created OpenAlex.

OpenAlex gets its information from MAG and other sources. It also integrates with Unpaywall, which has over 30 million articles. This allows for access to much more information.

There are not just free articles to read, but OpenAlex will also tell you the license and the version of the articles.

OpenAlex updates every two weeks and brings in even more data from its other sources. With all this extra information, researchers have everything they need to conduct studies using scholarly articles by their peers.

Free and easy to use

Who doesn’t like free stuff? Everyone does! OpenAlex is 100% free to use. You don’t have to register for anything or sign in every time. You just go to the website and look for what you need.

According to one researcher, “for somebody who is more computer savvy, MAG might be easier… For researchers who want to try small projects on their own, OpenAlex will be way easier to start with.”

While it can take several days to a week to get started on MAG, it only takes a few hours on OpenAlex.

What's the big idea?

If you’re a researcher looking for an open index of millions of scholarly articles, you should try OpenAlex. A more user-friendly search engine will be added in February, making it that much easier to use the site. OpenAlex’s goal is to make connections between an expansive database of scholarly articles. Go and get connected to this global research system.

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This article originally appeared on the University of Houston's The Big Idea. Cory Thaxton, the author of this piece, is the communications coordinator for The Division of Research.

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Building Houston

 
 

With fresh funding, this Houston and Canada-based company has made an acquisition. Courtesy of Validere

After raising $43 million in funding for its series B round, Validere, a commodity management platform for the energy industry, has acquired Clairifi, whose technology helps energy businesses comply with environmental and regulatory requirements. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

The funding round was closed in March and was led by Mercuria Energy and select funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, with participation from Nova Fleet, Pioneer Fund and NGIF Cleantech Ventures, as well as existing investors, including Wing VC and Greylock Partners, according to a news release.

“Validere’s mission is to ensure human prosperity through energy that is plentiful, sustainable and efficiently delivered," says Nouman Ahmad, Validere co-founder and CEO. "We facilitate this through integrating our customers’ core business with new environmental initiatives. In order to manage the energy transition well, environmental attributes cannot be managed in a silo, they need to be integrated in the day-to-day operations and commercial decisions."

Validere is based in Calgary, Alberta, and has its United States presence based in Houston. Clairifi also is based in Calgary. According to the company, the purchase of Clairifi strengthens Validere’s ESG (environmental, social, and governance) offerings.

“Companies across the energy supply chain are often burdened by the arduous task of compliance reporting, a time-intensive process that is usually performed manually in Excel spreadsheets by costly environmental consultants,” Validere says in a news release announcing the Clairifi deal. “These issues are coupled with constantly changing environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies, as well as disorganized data, which can cause confusion over meeting reporting requirements.”

Validere says that thanks to the integration of Clairifi, businesses can easily comply with current and future regulations from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and can access a central platform to accurately measure, manage, and forecast emissions strategies.

“The implementation of costs on carbon and emission reduction requirements introduce new immediate and long-term consequences that cascade from the field to head office,” says Corey Wood, co-founder and CEO of Clairifi. “While regulatory compliance is often considered a burden on industry, requiring resources and continuous innovation, if we are well-prepared, these challenges may be used as catalysts to revive, refresh and improve.”

As part of the acquisition, Wood has joined Validere as vice president of emissions, regulatory, and carbon strategy.

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