How To Use Connected Papers Visual Tool For Literature Mapping

Literature mapping can be a daunting task, but Connected Papers offers a visual tool to simplify the process.

With its intuitive interface and powerful graphing capabilities, Connected papers can easily help you:

  • visualise connections between papers,
  • identify key works in your field, and
  • streamline your literature review.

This guide will show you how to use Connected Papers to find and explore academic papers relevant to your research.

What Is Connected Papers?

Connected Papers is an innovative literature mapping tool that helps researchers and applied scientists find and explore academic papers in a visual graph.

connected papers

When you use Connected Papers, you enter a seed paper or keyword, and it generates a graph of similar papers.

This visual tool to help researchers presents related papers based on co-citation and bibliographic coupling. It’s particularly useful for literature reviews and finding papers relevant to their field.

Try typing in “Language Teaching Methodology,” and Connected Papers will show a web of papers that cite or are cited by the seed paper.

The size of each bubble represents the number of citations, while the colour indicates the publication year. This makes it easy to identify important papers and see how they are connected.

Connected Papers uses the Semantic Scholar database, which contains hundreds of millions of papers. This ensures that even papers that do not directly cite each other but are strongly connected and closely positioned are included.

You can also save graphs for interesting papers, download references, and explore connected articles.

How To Use Connected Papers For Literature Review?

Using Connected Papers for your literature review can transform how you conduct academic research. Here’s a step-by-step process to get you started with this powerful literature mapping tool.

First, navigate to This website uses the Semantic Scholar database, which contains hundreds of millions of papers from all fields.

Enter Seed Paper Title

Once you are on, start by entering a keyword or seed paper title in the search bar. For example, if you’re interested in “Google Earth Engine,” type it in and hit search.

Connected Papers generates a visual graph of similar papers based on co-citation and bibliographic coupling. The graph shows bubbles representing individual papers.

Larger bubbles indicate papers with more citations, and the colour gradient from light to dark represents the publication years.

Hover over any bubble to see a summary of the paper on the right side of the screen. This helps you get a quick visual overview of the papers relevant to your field of work.

Click on a bubble to open a detailed view of the paper, including its citation count and references.

Explore Deeper

To delve deeper, you can click “build a graph” for any paper. This creates a new visual graph, allowing you to explore academic papers that cite or are cited by your selected paper.

For instance, selecting a well-cited paper like ‘Hansen 2013’ on ‘global forest mapping’ will display related papers in the graph, helping you see how this seminal work is connected to newer research.

Identify Key Papers

connected papers

Connected Papers also allows you to highlight all graph papers referencing or cited by the papers in the graph.

This feature helps you identify important papers that are connected and very closely positioned, even if they do not directly cite each other. It’s a great way to find papers relevant to your field that might otherwise be overlooked.

Identify Clusters Of Similar Papers

If you’re working on a literature review, this tool is invaluable. Use Connected Papers to find related papers and build a comprehensive understanding of the research landscape.

You can easily identify clusters of similar papers and see how different studies are interlinked. This makes literature exploration much more efficient and insightful.

Download The References

Once you’ve found papers that interest you, download the references in .bib format. This is a basic text file that you can import into your reference manager, such as EndNote or Mendeley.

This feature saves you the hassle of manually entering citation details and ensures you have all the necessary information for your research writing.

Connected Papers also integrates with other tools like Semantic Scholar and Google Scholar. You can quickly navigate to these platforms for more in-depth searches or to access the full text of papers.

This seamless integration enhances your literature search process, making it easier to find and explore papers relevant to your research.

Save Your Research Results

Another interesting feature is the ability to save your search results. By logging into Connected Papers with your Gmail or creating an account, you can save graphs of interesting papers for future reference.

This is particularly useful for ongoing research projects where you need to keep track of evolving literature.

Use Connected Papers For Literature Mapping and Academic Research

Using Connected Papers to conduct a literature review is straightforward and highly effective. It’s a tool that allows you to visualise the connections between papers in a visual graph, providing a clear and comprehensive overview of the research landscape.

Whether you’re a seasoned researcher or a student embarking on a new project, Connected Papers can help you find and explore academic papers, making your literature review process more efficient and insightful.

If you are looking to leverage on AI to help simplify your literature review process, check out my video below to see how you can do it:

The Author

Dr Andrew Stapleton has a Masters and PhD in Chemistry from the UK and Australia. He has many years of research experience and has worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Associate at a number of Universities. Although having secured funding for his own research, he left academia to help others with his YouTube channel all about the inner workings of academia and how to make it work for you.