Bayes Centre

Introducing OpportunityMatch

Welcome to your new research collaboration tool.

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OpportunityMatch is an AI-driven search engine and collaboration tool that allows people at the University to find academic expertise and make connections to others with shared interests. Unlike normal search engines, it allows for similarity-based search, which means you do not need to “find the right words” to find what you are looking for.

OpportunityMatch trawls through all research outputs (e.g. publications and projects) produced by members of the University and finds those most similar to what you are looking for using smart clever text processing and machine learning methods. This is particularly useful if the user is not an expert in the target area themselves, or is looking for research that most closely matches a funding call, company enquiry, or any other piece of text.

Similarity matching is based on comparing text documents, and all items the system processes are simply pieces of text, including the searches entered by users – therefore it works best on longer pieces of text (e.g. at least a short paragraph). Of course you can also use it to perform traditional keyword search, where the matches have to be exact, and you can combine both types of search.

OpportunityMatch allows researchers to extend their own profiles, so that they can add new ideas, unpublished or future work, and other information about their interest, biography, and ideas – this helps the system develop an up-to-date view of research at the University, rather than only relying on past work. It also allows users to curate and share their searches, and receive notifications about matches between their searches and those of others’, or new content added by researchers in their profiles. This means that you can be notified of relevant updates even while you are not using it, and you can also find out about people who share your interests.

The tool is currently only available to University staff and students, and you will need to ensure you connect via the University’s Virtual Private Network. It is still in its early stages of development, and by no means yet a fully-fledged product, but we hope that you will find it useful and that we can learn from your experiences with it while developing it further.

Visit our How To page to watch a video of how to use OpportunityMatch here.

If you have any questions or comments about OpportunityMatch, please e-mail us at opportunity-match@ed.ac.uk.