A New Research Engine – Epi-Search

A new research engine created by Michael Lissack at the Institute for Studies in Coherence and Emergence (ISCE). As well as working as Executive Director of ISCE, Michael Lissack is a professor at the Tongji University College of Design and Innovation.


You will find Epi-Search at (http://epi-search.com) is the only research tool on the web which allows you to input up to 10,000 words as your search query (i.e. whole articles, papers, book chapters).

Epi-search then runs a “find more like this search” to recommend books from the 5000 volume ISCE.edu library shows you how and why the results shown were recommended AND provides links to “good” related searches from 9 academic databases including:

  1. Google Scholar related academic results
  2. PhilPaper related philosophy results
  3. MIT CogNet related cognitive science results (citations only)
  4. CiteSeer related academic results
  5. DeepDyve related articles (abstracts only)
  6. JSTOR related resources (citations only)
  7. Taylor and Francis related resources (abstracts only)
  8. OUP Scholarship Online

Epi-Search is a conceptual search tool that out performs traditional searching algorithms because it is able to make use of concepts that are fully expressed in other documents

Epi-search takes queries of 50 to 10,000 words and performs several functions:

  1.  a “find more like this” search identifies contextually related documents from theISCE.edu library
  2.  displays key concepts and terms from the query and presents them in word clouds, and
  3.  transforms extracted terms and concepts into “enhanced queries” that are sent directly into more than a dozen third-party online databases

Epi-search can play a key role in research where the use of whole paragraphs of text is more effective at finding contextually relevant material than the use of simple keywords and tags. Your students will benefit from knowing about and using this FREE tool.

Use Cases:

1) Organizing thoughts for further reading

Students can take free form notes and submit them as a whole to Epi-Search. The site then recommends further reading material and associated concepts and keywords.

2) Discovering unexpected sources

Students can take their current draft of a paper and use it as a query to discover other reference sources which they should be citing.

3) Exploring related areas of inquiry

Students can take their current draft of notes or a paper and use it as a query to discover other materials related to their draft all based on “find-more-like-this.”


Epi-Search is like giving each student their own personal reference librarian to help them do research.

Eli-Search is a FREE service of the The Institute for the Study of Coherence and Emergence.




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