Rollins Launches CoCites, a Radical New Scientific Search Tool

May 7, 2020

The Rollins School of Public Health recently launched CoCites, an online, citation-based search tool that helps researchers find related articles for scientific literature in PubMed. A. Cecile J.W. Janssens, PhD, research professor at the Emory Rollins School of Public Health, led the research and development of the tool.

Searching scientific literature is inefficient and ineffective. A complete search on a topic requires an extensive query that combines all relevant keywords and their synonyms. A simple search retrieves only part of the relevant literature depending on the keywords that are searched. 

With CoCites, users don’t enter keywords, they enter or select the title of the article for which they would like to find related content. The tool retrieves these other articles through co-citations. Articles that are frequently cited together with the selected paper appear at the top of the search results.

CoCites is currently available as a browser extension for Chrome or Firefox; an extension for Safari will be added next month. The browser extensions place a CoCites search button for each article in PubMed, which shows the number of citations the article has received. If users click on the number, they can view the article’s co-citations.

“CoCites finds related articles no matter what keywords researchers use to describe their work. This novel method is a time-saver for researchers and students,” says Janssens.

Performance of the method was evaluated in a large validation study by the National Library of Medicine and in an applied study by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The study reproduced the literature searches for 250 published meta-analyses and found that CoCites retrieved a median of 88 percent of the articles included in the reviews.

An advanced version of the tool will launch this summer.

For additional information about CoCites and to download the browser extension, visit