Welcome to the Hypothesis Browser!

One primary aim of scientific research is to evaluate hypotheses by collecting new information and by comparing supporting or contradicting pieces of evidence. However, many current knowledge bases for finding primary scientific literature rely on keyword and key term searches, making it difficult to search for the pieces of evidence that directly support or contradict given hypotheses. The Hypothesis Browser provides hypothesis-based indexing of primary scientific literature, making it easier to find supporting and contradicting pieces of evidence relevant to specific hypotheses. This knowledge base has been developed as an effort of the scientific community, with user contributions and the ability to question or comment on specific lines of evidence from the primary literature.

How Does the Hypothesis Browser Work?

Hypothesis Browser is meant to allow for searching through various hypotheses relevant to specific fields of research and topics within those fields. Every hypothesis is presented in a binary format contrasted with the competing or null hypothesis. Arguments that support or contradict a hypothesis are then provided and are organized by categories for easier browsing. Directly related arguments for and against specific hypotheses are linked.

Every argument is supported by evidence derived from peer-reviewed scientific literature, often times contributed from the original authors of the research or from researchers within that specific field of study. Each piece of evidence is given with a brief description and citations to the original research. Some journal articles may provide more than one line of evidence relevant to different arguments and/or hypotheses. Registered users can contribute hypotheses, arguments, and lines of evidence. Registered users can also add comments on each hypothesis, argument, or line of evidence with their opinions, unpublished data, or differing interpretations.

This concept has several advantages. It provides scientists with a structured environment to access information in the form that they often seek. In contrast to encyclopedic knowledge, the providers of information do not have to be objective. Even if researchers supplying facts are biased for or against a given hypothesis, the overall body of evidence might still be complete. Also, the proposed structure is particularly suitable for educational purposes because it encourages students to think critically and learn to formulate and test hypotheses rather than accumulate isolated facts.

The Hypothesis Browser Community

The Hypothesis Browser community has been developed with the following structure:

Community structure