Why we’re joining the Open COVID Pledge

Semantic Scholar is committed to open science.

Semantic Scholar
Jun 25 · 3 min read
Image for post
Image for post
Semantic Scholar is proud to be joining the Open COVID Pledge.

Open and free access to patents, emerging and historical scientific research, and other intellectual property is a critical factor in accelerating the scientific breakthroughs required to fight COVID-19.

Immediate action is required to halt the current pandemic and treat those it has affected. We at Semantic Scholar are proud to commit to the Open COVID Pledge, as it ties directly in with our mission of accelerating scientific discovery. We are providing the CORD-19 dataset under this Pledge as a resource to the global research community. We pledge to work with our partners to make the intellectual property we license from them available free of charge for use in the research required to end the COVID-19 pandemic and minimize the impact of the disease on those affected.

“We’re excited to join this important initiative driven by Creative Commons and many other notable organizations and individuals, as it reinforces the need for open, timely, and free access to the latest research and historical insights in scientific literature,” says Sebastian Kohlmeier, head of operations at Semantic Scholar and CORD-19 project lead. “Since founding the site in 2015 we have advocated for open access, and the immediacy of this global health crisis has amplified the need for publishers, tech companies, and others who hold valuable IP to ensure it’s actively being used to fight this disease.”

Research kept behind paywalls is limiting access and hindering scientific progress on COVID-19 research. The intent behind the Open COVID Pledge is to remove these barriers for scientists and researchers worldwide as they search for ways to combat this pandemic.

“Creative Commons has joined forces with other legal experts and leading scientists to offer a simple way for universities, companies, and other holders of intellectual property rights to support the development of medicines, test kits, vaccines, and other scientific discoveries related to COVID-19 for the duration of the pandemic,” says Creative Commons General Counsel Diane Peters, in her post on the Creative Commons blog. “The Open COVID Pledge grants the public free, temporary access to IP rights in support of solving the COVID-19 crisis, removing unnecessary obstacles to dissemination of the knowledge and inventions that could save lives and limit suffering.”

In March, Semantic Scholar released the CORD-19 dataset with a coalition of partners from the government, private sector, and other research institutions. The dataset is updated daily to accommodate the flood of new research being published on the novel coronavirus — more than 28,000 such articles have been published so far this year, making it impossible for any researcher to stay up to date with the latest insights from research groups around the world. The dataset has seen broad applications in the first three months, including applications in data science, clinical settings, and to inform policy decisions.

A major challenge addressed by CORD-19 is that much of the scientific literature is unreadable by machine learning models. Our research team, led by Lucy Lu Wang and Kyle Lo, harmonized the metadata and full-text research from many different sources in a standardized format to enable text mining and information retrieval methods to successfully uncover new connections and insights.

Join us in this effort: We encourage all organizations with valuable IP, datasets, and research to join the Open COVID Pledge and grant access to these resources. Learn more in the Creative Commons post about this pledge, and by visiting the website at opencovidpledge.org.

Semantic Scholar is a free AI-powered academic search engine from AI2. Visit semanticscholar.org to learn more and follow @semanticscholar on Twitter for updates.

AI2 Blog

AI for the common good.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store