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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 Clutch, connecting brands with creators has never been easier and more inclusive. Photo courtesy of Clutch

An app that originally launched on Houston college campuses has announced it's now live nationwide.

Clutch founders Madison Long and Simone May set out to make it easier for the younger generation to earn money with their skill sets. After launching a beta at local universities last fall, Clutch's digital marketplace is now live for others to join in.

The platform connects brands to its network of creators for reliable and authentic work — everything from social media management, video creation, video editing, content creation, graphic design projects, and more. With weekly payments to creators and an inclusive platform for users on both sides of the equation, Clutch aims to make digital collaboration easier and more reliable for everyone.

“We’re thrilled to bring our product to market to make sustainable, authentic lifestyles available to everyone through the creator economy," says May, CTO and co-founder of Clutch. "We’re honored to be part of the thriving innovation community here in Houston and get to bring more on-your-own-terms work opportunities to all creators and businesses through our platform.”

In its beta, Clutch facilitated collaborations for over 200 student creators and 50 brands — such as DIGITS and nama. The company is founded with a mission of "democratizing access to information and technology and elevating the next generation for all people," according to a news release from Clutch. In the beta, 75 percent of the creators were people of color and around half of the businesses were owned by women and people of color.

“As a Clutch Creator, I set my own pricing, schedule and services when collaborating on projects for brands,” says Cathy Syfert, a creator through Clutch. “Clutch Creators embrace the benefits of being a brand ambassador as we create content about the products we love, but do it on behalf of the brands to help the brands grow authentically."

The newly launched product has the following features:

  • Creator profile, where users can share their services, pricing, and skills and review inquiries from brands.
  • Curated matching from the Clutch admin team.
  • Collab initiation, where users can accept or reject incoming collab requests with brands.
  • Collab management — communication, timing, review cycles — all within the platform.
  • In-app payments with a weekly amount selected by the creators themselves.
  • Seamless cancellation for both brands and creators.
Clutch raised $1.2 million in seed funding from Precursor Ventures, Capital Factory, HearstLab, and more. Clutch was originally founded as Campus Concierge in 2021 and has gone through the DivInc Houston program at the Ion.

Madison Long, left, and Simone May co-founded Clutch. Photo courtesy of Clutch

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