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Type of site
Search Engine
Available inEnglish
OwnerPluto Network
LaunchedJanuary 2018
Current statusActive
Written inJava, TypeScript

Scinapse is a free web search engine for research publications. Launched beta in January 2018 (then as Pluto Search), the service is developed by a non-profit team Pluto Network, based in Seoul, South Korea.[1] The site is visited by more than 300,000 on a monthly basis, as of April 2019.[2] Its database covers multiple disciplines from natural sciences to social sciences and humanities, with the major sources of data being Microsoft Research, Semantic Scholar, Springer Nature, and PubMed.[3] As of April 2019, the database covers more than 200 million publication records from more than 40,000 journals.[2] It is suggested that the search results from Scinapse is similar, or more helpful, than those from SCOPUS or Google Scholar.[4]


The project, in the early stage, was to develop a platform "to realize the concept of 'Decentralized Academia,'" where research achievements are disseminated with low fee, peer reviews take seriously less time, reviews are improved with quality and prevented from abuses, and communications between peers are facilitated.[5] As such, the developing team was focused on designing an alternative peer review process, with the aid of emerging blockchain technology.[6][7][8][9] The project turned into a search engine for publications in the belief that more important steps required are a better environment with clean academic data for reasonable evaluation of researchers, and a community to support such changes. The developing team does not abolish the prospects of decentralization, while it is determined that blockchain is not required at the moment.[10] In contrast, some media coverage seems to regard the project as blockchain-oriented.[11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19]


The search query in Scinapse supports multiple aspects of scientific records.

  • Keywords matched in titles and abstracts of the records;
  • names matched in the authors of the records;
  • journal titles where the records are published in; and
  • DOIs of the records.

Search results from a specific query gives two major entries: Authors and Publications. Author entries are summarized with their names, affiliations, and top Fields of Study. By showing only the author entries for search results, additional quantitative metrics are displayed on each author, namely the number of publications, total citations received, and h-indices.

Publication entries are each summarized with its title, publishing year, publishing journal title and its Impact Factor, authors with their names, affiliations and h-indices, abstract, and the number of citations received. The search results with publication entries can be sorted in the order of their relevance to search query, citation counts, and recency. The results can be further customized with filters applied on publishing years, fields of study, and journal titles.

The service extends to individual pages for each publication, author, or journal, which users can access by clicking the respective names from the search results. The publication pages show PDFs inside the page if there exists any Open Access version.

The service also features Collections, where users can save specific papers, and share with others outside the Service.[20] Memos can be added to papers saved in a Collection. Although the service supports citation generators for individual publications by clicking the Cite buttons, formatted in BibTex, RIS, MLA, APA, IEEE, Harvard, Vancouver, and Chicago styles, it does not support bulk generation of multiple citations at once.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Baek, Sanghyun (2018-01-19). "Introducing Pluto Beta". Medium. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  2. ^ a b "Frequently Asked Questions". Notion App. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  3. ^ "Scinapse | Academic search engine for paper". Scinapse. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  4. ^ "What we read this week (20 July 2018)". BMJ Labs. 2018-07-20. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  5. ^ Junseon (2017-07-27). "Needs for disruptive innovation on the academic publishing". Medium. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  6. ^ Kim, Yoonji (2017-09-22). "Pluto, Decentralized Scholarly Communication Platform". Medium. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  7. ^ Kim, Yoonji (2017-09-29). "Solution of PLUTO platform". Medium. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  8. ^ Kim, Yoonji (2017-11-07). "Peer review system in PLUTO". Medium. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  9. ^ Baek, Sanghyun (2017-11-07). "Review Process on PLUTO". Medium. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  10. ^ Kim, Yoonji (2019-01-21). "Blockchain is NOT a cure to Academia". Medium. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  11. ^ "Technology behind bitcoin could aid science, report says". Physics Today. 2017. doi:10.1063/PT.6.1.20171201a.
  12. ^ "Peer-to-Peer-Wissenschaftsverlage funktionieren nicht – oder doch? - derStandard.at". DER STANDARD (in German). Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  13. ^ Extance, Andy (2017-12-21). "Could Bitcoin technology help science?". Nature. 552 (7685): 301–302. doi:10.1038/d41586-017-08589-4. ISSN 0028-0836.
  14. ^ "Will bitcoin bite the dust in 2018?". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  15. ^ "This Seoul Based Nonprofit Wants to Make Scholarly Communication Transparent Using Blockchain Technology". Research Stash. 2018-01-11. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  16. ^ "How Can Blockchain Help Science? | BTCMANAGER". BTCMANAGER. 2018-01-12. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  17. ^ Sukel, Kayt (2018-07-30). "Scientists Hope to Replicate Success Using Blockchain". ThirtyK. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  18. ^ "Stephen's Web ~ Introduction to Open Education: Towards a Human Rights Theory ~ Stephen Downes". www.downes.ca. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  19. ^ "An A-Z list of scholarly publishing and open science platforms (Updated 6 November 2018)". BMJ Labs. 2017-11-10. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  20. ^ Kim, Yoonji (2019-01-03). "How do you manage Bookmarks in Google Scholar?". Medium. Retrieved 2019-04-08.

External links[edit]