Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.


SciCombinator is a scientific news aggregation and discussion site. We collate, score and rank scientific articles based on their Altmetric score and other metadata to bring you the most talked about articles.

Scoring Algorithm

To score content we take into account multiple factors. Firstly, we seed the score using Altmetric. Then we take into account whether the content is open access (an integer 0 or 1). From there we count the number of times a link to an article has been followed (scaled to stop click spamming), giving users a passive voting mechanism (vote with your feet, or in this case mouse). Finally we apply a decay to the score so that the home page stays fresh.

Here is the whole formula:

( 5 ( open_access + 1 ) ) ( altmetric_score + 1000 ( 1 - 1 clicks + 1 ) ) ( age_in_days + 2 ) 1.8

With thanks to…

We would like to thank the following organisations for the free use of their APIs or for just being generally awesome. Without them, this site would not be possible.

Pubmed logo Altmetric logo Alchemyapi logo Instapaper logo Rails rumble logo

Brought to you by

This project was built as part of the Rails Rumble 2012, and was initially built in under 48 hours.

The team (in alphabetical order)
The tech

The application is built using the Ruby on Rails web framework and the following gems:

On top of the following infrastructure:

Made to look good with some help from: