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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

 
 

Cemvita reported a successful pilot program on its gold hydrogen project in the Permian Basin. Photo courtesy of Cemvita

Houston-based cleantech startup Cemvita Factory is kicking things into high gear with its Gold Hydrogen product.

After successfully completing a pilot test of Gold Hydrogen in the oil-rich Permian Basin of West Texas, Cemvita has raised an undisclosed amount of funding through its new Gold H2 LLC spin-out. The lead investors are Georgia-based equipment manufacturer Chart Industries and 8090 Industries, an investment consortium with offices in New York City and Los Angeles.

Gold Hydrogen provides carbon-neutral hydrogen obtained from depleted oil and gas wells. This is achieved through bioengineering subsurface microbes in the wells to consume carbon and generate clean hydrogen.

Cemvita says it set up Gold H2 to commercialize the business via licensing, joint ventures, and outright ownership of hydrogen assets.

“We have incredible conviction in next-generation clean hydrogen production methods that leverage the vast and sprawling existing infrastructure and know-how of the oil and gas industry,” Rayyan Islam, co-founder and general partner of 8090 Industries, says in a news release.

Traditional methods of producing hydrogen without greenhouse gas emissions include electrolysis powered by renewable sources like wind, solar or water, according to Cemvita. However, production of green hydrogen through normal avenues eats up a lot of energy and money, the startup says.

By contrast, Cemvita relies on depleted oil and gas wells to cheaply produce carbon-free hydrogen.

“The commercialization and economics of the hydrogen economy will require technologies that produce the hydrogen molecule at a meaningful scale with no carbon emissions. Gold H2 is leading the charge … ,” says Jill Evanko, president and CEO of Chart Industries.

Investors in Cemvita include Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, an investment arm of Houston-based Occidental Petroleum, as well as BHP Group, Mitsubishi, and United Airlines Ventures.

Oxy Low Carbon Ventures and United Airlines Ventures are financing Cemvita’s work on sustainable jet fuel. United Airlines operates a hub at George Bush Intercontinental Airport Houston.

Founded by brother-and-sister team Moji and Tara Karimi in 2017, Cemvita uses synthetic biology to turn carbon dioxide into chemicals and alternative fuels.

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