When scientists surf the Internet, what are they searching for: cancer is still number one

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 When scientists surf the Internet, what are they searching for: cancer is still number one


The search trend for science has changed. Photo Source: Natural Web Source: Scopus Source: Google News Lab

Our reporter Zhang Mengrun

The trend of scientific retrieval is changing little by little.

Scopus, a large scientific database covering thousands of journal abstracts and references, has entered the vocabulary list of the most frequently searched by scientists in 2018, according to the hottest keywords, cancer, block chain and big data, according to the website Nature.

And Google News Lab also counted the five most frequently searched scientific terms in the world for Nature, which are simple constants and formulas, such as the speed of light, the area of a circle and so on.

Cancer is in succession, and Artificial Intelligence is in the ascendant

Scopus also provides vocabulary retrieval data for 2017 and 2018.

According to Scopus vocabulary search rankings, the same word -- cancer ranked first for two consecutive years. The new words in 2018, which have not been listed in 2017, can reflect the increasing concerns of researchers, such as machine learning and in-depth learning, which entered the top 20 in 2018. In addition, the ranking of AI rose from 13th in 2017 to 4th in 2018.

According to Nature, an important reason for the rising ranking of the term artificial intelligence is that some achievements have been made in the study of artificial intelligence. Canta Dihall, a science communication researcher at the Livahum Future Intelligence Center at the University of Cambridge, UK, said that a number of units funded by large amounts of scientific research are beginning to produce the latest achievements of AI. Meanwhile, a large number of new AI research institutions and related projects have been set up.

Block Chain Rise and Pressure Out

Another rise in the rankings is the word big data, which ranks third in 2018 from the previous sixth place in the top three. In response, Dihall said, people began to pay more attention to how big data affects the world.

Block chains are digital distributed accounts used to record digital transactions. With the popularity of this technology worldwide, the word block chains has also shown an explosive growth - from No. 19 on the list in 2017 to No. 2 in 2018. Giron Flanagan, a research fellow in science and technology policy at the University of Manchester, believes that this phenomenon may mean that researchers are beginning to hope to apply the block chain to their work. Theres another possibility, Dihal says, that researchers simply want to know what the word means -- block chain is very hot, but few people can say what block chain is-- and thats what most people think.

These words may also reveal some cyclical information. Flanagan said that new technologies started to develop rapidly and people were passionate, but they tended to calm down slowly.

In addition, there are some words that fall in the ranking: graphene fell from 7th place in 2017 to 13th place, while stress and obesity fell out of the top 20 in 2018.

What does Google search for? Formula!

The content provided by Google News Lab is the statistics of the most frequently searched scientific terms in all languages in the world.

But in the final analysis of the data, the Nature team inevitably excluded some of the hot but unrelated elements of science itself - TV series including The Big Bang of Life, movies including Jurassic Park, companies like DNA identification company 23andMe, games including Jurassic World: Evolution, and science websites.

After that, the list of the top five hottest scientific terms in 2018 was made up of simple formulas and constants. Their annual search volume hardly fluctuates, but it seems that it will slightly decline during school holidays. Sam Wales, trend analyst at Google News Laboratory, said that although not 100 percent certain, formula searches did decline in the summer. He argues that the reason is summer vacation, because conversely, formula searches are usually the most frequent in the school exam season. Its worth noting that there are also some scientific events in these two yearshotter searches: the 2017 solar and lunar eclipses, World Earth Day and the death of physicist Stephen Hawking in March 2018. (Science and Technology Daily, Beijing, January 22) This article is from: Science and Technology Daily - Responsible Editor of China Science and Technology Network: Wang Fengzhi_NT2541

After that, the list of the top five hottest scientific terms in 2018 was made up of simple formulas and constants. Their annual search volume hardly fluctuates, but it seems that it will slightly decline during school holidays.

Sam Wales, trend analyst at Google News Laboratory, said that although not 100 percent certain, formula searches did decline in the summer. He argues that the reason is summer vacation, because conversely, formula searches are usually the most frequent in the school exam season.

Its worth noting that there are also some scientific events in these two yearshotter searches: the 2017 solar and lunar eclipses, World Earth Day and the death of physicist Stephen Hawking in March 2018. (Science and Technology Daily, Beijing, January 22)