From today, readers of the Royal Society’s journals will notice a new feature; a list of suggested articles of interest next to each paper. Our new “Recommended articles” take the “if you like this, you might also like…” approach used to great effect by popular online services such as Amazon and Netflix. Our new feature is powered by TrendMD, a recommendation tool specifically tailored for scholarly content.

What are the benefits?

Our readers tell us that their time is precious, and that it’s sometimes difficult to find the right articles related to their research. We hope that, by providing links to potentially interesting articles which are related to the article being read, we can help researchers cut down on the amount of time spent searching for the right articles. We also like to think our recommendations might turn up some research that readers might not have come across otherwise.

How does it work?

Of course, the feature only delivers benefits if the recommendations are appropriate. Our partners in this venture, TrendMD, use an algorithm that makes use of collaborative filtering to determine which articles are suitable recommendations based on what users have clicked on in the past. The algorithm is always gathering more data, so it is continually learning and refining the recommendations.

The breadth of the recommended articles is also a consideration. As great as we think the Society’s corpus is, it doesn’t cover all scientific research out there – not by a long shot! This is where our partnership with TrendMD comes to the fore once again. Because TrendMD work with a network of publishers and news outlets, we are able to provide recommendations not only to Royal Society journal articles, but also to any relevant content in the TrendMD network that their algorithm deems appropriate.

For more information about the TrendMD algorithm and how it works, read their results of a trial against PubMed related citations.

trendmd_screenshot

We hope find the new feature useful! If you have any feedback, please contact us at publishing@royalsociety.org.