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PolyU Library

Online Tools for Assignment

Introduce useful online tools that may help to prepare your assignment.

Open Knowledge Maps

See how it works from an example below:

  1. Visit Open Knowledge Map at
  2. Select either PudMed (life sciences) or BASE (all disciplines) as a data provider.
    • PubMed comprises more than 26 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. For more information please visit the PubMed website.

    • BASE provides access to over 270 million documents from more than 8,900 content sources in all disciplines. For more information please visit the BASE website.

  3. Input a research topic, e.g. "long covid" to conduct a search.

  4. It will then generate a topical overview based on the 100 most relevant documents matching the topic. Grouping of documents is based on text similarity between the metadata of the documents, while the area titles are created from the subject keywords of documents assigned to the same area. The overlap of areas implies strong subject similarity. This helps us to identify relevant content in related disciplines when searching for a broad topic.

  5. We can click on a particular area to identify the key documents grouped under the selected area.
  6. We can also search within visualization by adding keywords, e.g. psychological.
  7. There are PDF links for open access articles. You can also try searching the article title from the Library's OneSearch for those non-open access articles.



Open Knowledge Maps is helpful to give us a head start on our scholarly search but it is not perfect. It uses the top 100 documents from the selected data source to create the map, which may miss important documents due to this restriction. The information quality would be affected by the algorithm, the scope of the data source, and the metadata quality. You are suggested to further make use of other databases to conduct a serious literature review for your assignment or research project.

To learn more about how Open Knowledge Maps works and its limitations, please refer to their FAQs page.

Creative Commons License

Except where otherwise noted, the content of this guide is licensed under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.