Last month we launched the SOFI Knowledge Map for users to start entering data from papers they wrote or read. Earlier this month, we had a fantastic opportunity to demo the project to attendees of the Gordon Research Seminar & Conference at the Renewable Energy: Solar Fuels conference in Italy.

There is really no better place to launch an online tool designed for researchers than at a Gordon Research Conference. These are the researchers at the front line, the ones who could benefit from an easily searchable database of facts and metrics from publications relevant to the field of solar fuels.

“What would it take to make this database function as it was intended?” This is my favorite question, because all it would take is researchers entering data from the papers they have written.

“If all the current solar fuels researchers entered data from their own papers, the Knowledge Map would have data from thousands of papers.” Exactly! The authors of a manuscript are the ones that know it best. They likely know exactly where to find a specific value or metric. Entering data from a publication is an easy and intuitive way to expand the reach of a publication.

“This is a great educational tool.” We agree! Although, reading a publication critically is quite different than reading a publication to extract facts and metrics. The Knowledge Map is a starting point to gather relevant publications. The burden is then on the researcher to read and assess the strength of the publication. Critically reading published literature is a skill best learned though personal mentoring and discussion, something we at SOFI feel is essential in developing talented solar fuels researchers to lead us to the next technological breakthrough.

“How do I get my publications into the SOFI Knowledge Map?” Once you have created an account you can upload your publications by listing their DOIs in the DOI Loader. We try to simplify the process of entering bibliographic data as well as establishing a direct link to the publishers site for the publication. This allows for readers to access both the paper and any available supporting information.

We enjoyed the time we spent with the solar fuels researchers at the Renewable Energy: Solar Fuels Gordon Research Conference this year. There is a lot of great work being done on every aspect of solar fuels research and we are excited to see so many dedicated researchers working to solve a global problem.

We know the Knowledge Map can be a tool to accelerate the field of solar fuels research and we look forward to feedback from the community at large as to what you think of the Knowledge Map.