Meta (academic company)

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META Solutions
FoundersSam Molyneux, Amy Molyneux
Area served
Academia, Government, Publishing, Industry
ServicesScientific knowledge network powered by machine intelligence
Number of employees

Meta is a company performing big data analysis of scientific literature. Company is headquartered in Redwood City, California[1] (formerly Toronto, Ontario, Canada[2]) and operates Meta Science, a literature discovery platform.[3][4][5] The company was acquired by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative in 2017.[6]


Meta Inc., formerly Sciencescape Inc.,[7] was founded in 2010 by Sam and Amy Molyneux. Before co-founding Meta, Sam Molyneux studied cancer genomics at the Ontario Cancer Institute at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto.[5][8] The service was developed with the intention of curating the millions of articles in the area of academic publishing.[2][3][4][8][9][10]

As of September 2016, Meta has analyzed over 26 million papers and profiled 14 million researchers.[11] The company has struck deals with publishers in science, technology and mathematics fields, which give the company access to full-text versions of more than 18,000 journals. Using natural language processing, Meta scans articles - as well as the millions of articles stored in open-access repositories - collecting information about authors, citations and topics. Participating publishers receive exposure for their journals in return.[12] These include the American Medical Association, BioMed Central, Elsevier, Karger, Sage Publishing, Taylor & Francis, Wolters Kluwer, and the Royal Society.[13][14] The technology for the platform was developed via a joint partnership between Meta and SRI International.[15]

Features and specifications[edit]

Meta includes coverage of the biomedical sciences with real-time updates from PubMed and other sources.[16] The website provides access to over 22 million papers with publication dates as early as the 1800s.[9][10] By sifting through papers and learning from user behavior, the service pinpoints key pieces of research and provides relevant search results.[3] Meta also provides visualizations about a field of research by organizing papers by their date of publication and citation count and then presenting the information in a way that allows users to quickly identify key historical papers.[5]

The Meta Science research platform uses algorithms that allow users to sort new publications according to subject matter.[2] Users can subscribe to feeds for areas of research including biology, genes, diseases, genetic disorders, drugs, people, labs & institutes, and journals.[2][8][17]

Merge with Chan Zuckerberg Initiative[edit]

Meta merged with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative in 2017, marking the Initiative's first acquisition.[6]


  1. ^ Chan Zuckerberg Initiative signs lease in Lane Partners' new Redwood City building, San Francisco Business Times, January 25, 2017, retrieved October 31, 2018
  2. ^ a b c d Darrell Etherington (June 16, 2013), Sciencescape Wants To Solve Academic Research Discoverability, Deal With The Noise Problem, TechCrunch, retrieved January 12, 2014
  3. ^ a b c Sciencescape aims to sift through snowballing science research,, retrieved January 12, 2014
  4. ^ a b Candice So (June 13, 2013), Sciencescape cataloguing research papers everywhere, one essay at a time,, retrieved January 12, 2014
  5. ^ a b c The Data Visualizers, MaRS Commons Magazine, retrieved January 12, 2014
  6. ^ a b "Chan Zuckerberg Initiative acquires and will free up science search engine Meta – TechCrunch". Retrieved 2018-03-14.
  7. ^ "Meta Launches Universal Machine Intelligence Platform to Unite the Fragmented Scientific Information Ecosystem". MarketWatch. November 3, 2015. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  8. ^ a b c Mashoka Maimona (June 13, 2013), Tech companies make final pitches at Extreme Startups 2013 demo day, Financial Post, retrieved January 12, 2014
  9. ^ a b Hazman Aziz (June 26, 2013), Sciencescape -- A new kid on the block, Hazman Labs, inc, archived from the original on July 3, 2013, retrieved January 12, 2014
  10. ^ a b Vaibhav (June 18, 2013), Sciencescape in the Future of Scientific Research, TechnoGiants, retrieved January 12, 2014
  11. ^ About Meta, Meta, September 13, 2016, retrieved September 13, 2016
  12. ^ Carl Straumsheim (May 10, 2016), Predictive Analytics for Publishing, Inside Higher Ed, retrieved September 12, 2016
  13. ^ Teri Tan (April 29, 2016), Digital Solutions in India 2016: Big Data and AI with Meta, Publishers Weekly, retrieved September 12, 2016
  14. ^ Partners, Meta, September 12, 2016, retrieved September 12, 2016
  15. ^ "Chan Zuckerberg Initiative makes first buy, a Canadian artificial intelligence startup". January 26, 2017. Retrieved 2018-03-16.
  16. ^ Darrell Etherington (June 13, 2013), Extreme Startups Demo Day Wrap Up: Canadian Startups Make A Strong Showing, TechCrunch, retrieved January 12, 2014
  17. ^ Under The Hood,, retrieved January 12, 2014

External links[edit]