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I am looking for some sort of website that shows/illustrates current research strides across several academic fields. It would be pretty cool if this existed as a interactive interface like google maps (e.g. one could click and drag into different research areas and zoom in and see which problems are getting solved). The interactive part seems unrealistic, but I would at least like to be able to see a list of topics (perhaps a word-cloud of recent research papers per academic field would be okay) per academic field.

Can anyone show me something similar to what I am looking for?

  • @MHH I don't think that Science and Nature cover the "TEM" part of "STEM" very well. It's in their name even. – silvado Oct 21 '14 at 7:24
  • Science and Nature might be good places to start. You can subscribe their email newsletter and see some hot topics in the physical, social and biological sciences. While they do cover some computer science and engineering topics, as @silvado points out, these fields are not central to their mission. – WetlabStudent Oct 21 '14 at 7:33
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I would not normally say Reddit is a good tool, and may get downvoted for suggesting such a maddening thing, but /r/science aka The Reddit Journal of Science provides a surprisingly high-level view of science research that is considered interesting, while also fitting your requirement that it splits information by field (the entire right side is dedicated to individual fields).

For example, these are some of the top articles from the past month.

  • Environment: NASA now says vast methane cloud over US southwest is for real
  • Social Sciences: The secret to raising well behaved teens? Maximise their sleep: While paediatricians warn sleep deprivation can stack the deck against teenagers, a new study reveals youth’s irritability and laziness aren’t down to attitude problems but lack of sleep
  • Health: Gut microbe found in people with eating disorders (bulimia, anorexia). Experiments show it produces a human hormone mimic that affects feeling of satisfaction, energy use, and mood. The severity of eating disorder symptoms is positively correlated with immune reaction to the mimic.
  • Neuroscience: Scientists have found “hidden” brain activity that can indicate if a vegetative patient is aware
  • Physics: Researchers have developed a new method for harvesting the energy carried by particles known as ‘dark’ spin-triplet excitons with close to 100% efficiency, clearing the way for hybrid solar cells which could far surpass current efficiency limits.

Obviously, you'll still have to do work of digging through potential garbage or low-quality sources and fact-checking. If it holds water, then you can dive into the related literature.

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While not necessarily interdisciplinary, emerging research fronts from Thompson Reuters (the one of the Web of Knowledge) could be helpful. E.g. here is a PDF with list of 2013 research fronts. The idea is basically taht they keep track of the paper that are highly cited and keep gaining new citations faster than usual. I guess one should be able to filter (unfortunately probably by hand only) the ERFs that are multi- (or inter-) disciplinary in nature.

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In principle, Microsoft academic search seems to fit your question. They have a list of research fields on the start page. You can then browse these fields by for example authors, keywords, or organizations, and find articles related to specific keywords. You can even interactively browse a coauthorship graph or citation graph.

Unfortunately, the database seems a bit outdated in parts. In my field, it seem's they didn't index any publications after 2012.

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