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Utopia Documents

The need to manage, analyse and interpret the volumes of data and literature generated by modern high-throughput biology can be a major barrier to progress.

Professor Teresa Attwood and her group at The University of Manchester are using computers to help readers make better use of scientific articles.

Professor Attwood's research has resulted in the development of Utopia Documents, an innovative software system that links biomedical data to scientific literature.

This software 'brings articles to life' by linking what is written with information in online databases and interactive software tools.

This gives readers the best of both worlds: access to the original research and to the analysis tools needed to explore findings in real time.

The software has been adopted by international publishing houses like Portland Press, powering the development of the so-called Semantic Biochemical Journal.

By allowing publishers to enrich their past and present articles and drive more traffic to their online content, it is opening up new business models.

It is also used by pharmaceutical companies such as AstraZeneca and Roche, enabling them to recover and exploit in-house knowledge that is otherwise lost during drug discovery processes.

The research also led to the development of a spin-out company, Lost Island Labs, in 2012.

Associated organisations

"Utopia Documents provides a key missing link between the content of published papers and many distinct scientific databases, a first for scholarly publishing."

Audrey McCulloch / Chief Executive of the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers

"Integration with Utopia Documents enables our readers to have a richer and more integrated experience when engaging with our flagship publication [the Biochemical Journal]."

Caroline Black / Managing Director, Portland Press