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For instance, I'm imagining a website where you could type in a query, like

Does exposure to sun cause cancer?

And it would lead you to a page which had an either human curated or automatic overview of scientific research that is related to attempting to answer this question. Obviously, it's a uselessly general question without more qualifying specificity, but you get the idea.

I am interested in any kinds of websites that offer visual or otherwise condensed summaries / links to existing scientific research across all domains. With a focus on usability as a lay person.

Does anyone know of sites that might do similar things? Thanks for your time!

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    Your question is too vague. You already use search engines or specialized search engines like google scholar. So, what exactly do you want that is different? Jul 5, 2023 at 17:17
  • Is it though? If you know of any sites that are in that ballpark, I'd like to know about them. Jul 5, 2023 at 17:21

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The obvious answer is google (or google scholar). That is literally what a search engine does, it shows you relevant documents based on your criteria. It seems like that's not exactly what you mean though. I don't think you will find curated content, only because how could someone curate content in real time for a dynamic search phrase?

There are programs that sort of do what you want. For instance UpToDate is a medical focused resource for clinicians that provides articles that summarizes topics and concisely presents the latest research and expert opinion. It doesn't generate these articles on the fly, and you are still just searching a database of content, but it is more curated than a general search engine. It is also very expensive and is really for medical doctors to use as a replacement for those old school desk references.

The final option is the worst (in my opinion) but is exactly what you want - Bing's AI powered search. It attempts to generate an explanation of whatever you want (being based on GPT3 or GPT4, I don't know which exactly) but unlike the base versions, tries to "cite" it's sources using search results from the regular Bing search algorithm. Presumably this is to circumvent the tendency for these AI's to basically make things up. So you might get more reliable results. I think it's only available on Edge (or through a phone app) and its basically just a reskinned ChatGPT. So I don't know how useful it would be for in depth research concepts. But it does sound like what you are looking for.

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elicit has some of this functionality. it allows users to input a general research question and the program analyses papers that help answer the question, its quite new and theyre rolling out new features. ive used it as a supplementary resource and for that its quite helpful.

it provides some detailed results on each paper that it returns like a summary of the abstract, methods and key findings which is helpful too.

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