Semantic Scholar

The Semantic Scholar search pane in Publish or Perish allows you to perform a Semantic Scholar search and analyse its results; it contains a structured version of the parameters accepted by Semantic Scholar. Publish or Perish uses these parameters to perform a Semantic Scholar search, which is then analyzed and converted to a number of statistics. The results are available on-screen and can also be copied to the Windows clipboard (for pasting in other applications) or saved to a text file (for future reference or further analysis).

Note: The current version of Semantic Scholar only offers a basic version of keyword searching. The Semantic Scholar team intend to expand the API capabilities over time; when they do, Publish or Perish will be updated to use the new capabilities.

Semantic Scholar API key

You will need to request a Semantic Scholar API key before you can run Semantic Scholar searches. For detailed instructions, see Semantic Scholar API key.

Update: We have received permission from S2 to distribute a default API key with Publish or Perish. The default key will be used to access Semantic Scholar unless you provide your own API key via the procedure in Semantic Scholar API key.

How to perform a Semantic Scholar search

To perform a Semantic Scholar search:

  1. Enter the relevant parameters in the various fields (see below for an explanation of each parameter);
  2. Click Search or press the Enter key.

The program will now contact Semantic Scholar to obtain the citations, process the list, and calculate the citation metrics, which are then displayed in the results list. The full list of results is also available for inspection or modifications and can be exported in a variety of formats.


This pane contains the following fields.

Option Description

Enter any additional words that must appear alone or in combination in the returned papers. This can be used to narrow down the search for a specific set of papers.

For general tips on search syntax, see General/keyword search.


Perform the search. If possible, the search is satisfied from the local Publish or Perish cache; this saves time and reduces the load on Semantic Scholar. If no cache entry for the search exists or the entry is older than the maximum cache age, then the search parameters are forwarded to Semantic Scholar. After the results are received from Semantic Scholar, the local cache is automatically refreshed.

You can change the maximum cache age in the Preferences: Semantic Scholar dialog box, which is accessible through the Tools > Preferences command.

Search Direct

Submit the search directly to Semantic Scholar, bypassing the local Publish or Perish cache. This may be useful if you suspect that Semantic Scholar may have newer information than is available through the local cache. When the results are returned from Semantic Scholar, the local cache is automatically refreshed.

It is not useful to perform multiple direct lookups for the same query shortly after another; this merely increases the load on Semantic Scholar. We recommend that you only use the Search Direct function as a last resort.

Clear All Clears all search fields. You can use this to quickly prepare the fields for an entirely new search.
Revert Restores the search fields to their previous state. This function is only available as long as you have not performed a lookup with the current search fields.

Menu button that displays a popup menu from which you can create a new search.

The fields of the new search will be pre-populated from the fields in the current search; this makes it easy to use the same or very similar search parameters across a number of searches or data sources.