Harnessing the power of AI for your research

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Harnessing the power of AI for your research

Artificial intelligence, or AI, is the latest buzzword on everybody’s mind. AI leverages technology to mimic the problem-solving capabilities of the human mind, and can benefit users by improving their efficiency and productivity.

Researchers are increasingly relying on the power of using AI tools for their work since they can help with research in universities, corporate and pharma industries, and government institutions.

Despite some obvious ethical concerns, AI has significant benefits in improving research quality and time if used with caution.

Types of AI tools for research: An overview

You can take the help of AI tools at every step of your research project, right from combing through relevant literature to identifying potential target journals for your research.

AI tools can help you save countless hours and find relevant papers. AI-powered tools are also designed to plan experiments, collect data, and analyze it efficiently in an unbiased manner. AI tools can help write and edit manuscripts, cite relevant sources, and identify journals best suited for the scope of their studies.

AI tools for literature search and review

In a day and age when a massive amount of information is available at one’s fingertips through the Internet, finding relevant material can be challenging. In such a scenario, automating the task of identifying reliable papers can simplify researchers’ work. Numerous AI tools help you find and collate information sources you need and identify knowledge gaps that need to be bridged, thus helping generate potential project ideas.

Some AI tools can accelerate literature search by identifying topics of your interest and suggesting papers that may be relevant to you. Some help analyze research papers at a “superhuman” speed. They achieve this by automating time-consuming tasks like summarizing research papers and extracting figures, tables, and other data. Some tools also visualize networks of related papers and authors and allow researchers to share their collections with colleagues and improve collaborations.

AI for planning and study design

AI-powered experimental design tools use machine learning algorithms to optimize parameters. You can save a lot of time and effort by automating experimental designing. Tools such as these can reduce human errors and R&D costs. Remember, though, that there may not yet be such tools for specific disciplines or types of studies.

AI for data collection

Collecting usable data can be a challenge—data may be noisy or collection may be too costly. As such, designing data-collection workflows to capture high-quality data is important. This is particularly relevant to researchers working in businesses to understand market dynamics, stay ahead of the competition, and provide value to their stakeholders.1 Researchers in the machine learning field also need to constantly collect high-quality data to update and train AI models.2

In such cases, AI tools can offer solutions to collect, manage, store, and access data. This saves researchers’ efforts and time, increasing the output by automating the tedious multiple steps of identifying, profiling, sourcing, and preparing relevant data.

AI for data visualization and reporting

After collecting usable data, it has to be represented in a way that is informative for researchers. Presenting data as an image or graph can make it easier to identify patterns and obtain insights. AI-assisted optimization tools can help monitor trends without human biases.

AI for data interpretation

After obtaining usable data and creating easy-to-interpret representations, researchers have to interpret and analyze the data. Suggestive AI–based tools can help in this process. Such tools can help you find meaningful insights from the uploaded data in just a few clicks. 

AI for manuscript preparation

AI-based tools that can help in manuscript preparation include the ones that can help write and proofread articles, track references, cite sources, and detect plagiarism.

You can use AI writing tools for writing research grants, preparing manuscripts, or even writing books. Several AI writing assistance tools edit text in real-time, proofread and fix spelling, punctuation and grammar, and can suggest alternate words to diversify the vocabulary. Some tools also paraphrase sentences for researchers from their notes.

AI-based note-taking systems can track source information and avoid plagiarism. AI-powered tools can also help in managing and organizing references, and citing sources.

AI for journal selection

Academic researchers spend a lot of time identifying a journal whose mission aligns with their research paper’s objectives. Some tools use AI concept-matching technology to ensure that your research paper’s findings agree with the scope of the target journal you’re considering. This can help avoid rejections and publish your paper sooner.

Some platforms also provide manuscript templates that align with the formatting requirements of the target journal. This can help comply with the specific guidelines efficiently.

AI-based platforms can also help avoid predatory journals and publish research efficiently such that it reaches the target audience.

Considerations while using AI in research

You can use AI to enhance the research process—improving the quality of data, communicating findings more effectively, and publishing results with minimal delays. In this process, it is important that AI doesn’t take over and replace your critical thinking. Some things that you should consider while using AI for your work are as follows:

  • Fact-check content generated by AI tools as it may not always be accurate. For instance, generative AI tools are often known to invent academic references instead of citing published literature.
  • Be cautious about copy-pasting AI-generated text or data as it may sometimes result in plagiarism.
  • Using AI tools to edit original content to structure it for target publishers may be more effective than relying on AI solely to write the entire manuscript.
  • AI may not generate correct sources. Rather, AI can be more effectively used for managing and organizing references.
  • It is good practice to be transparent about whether and how you may have used AI tools in your research and manuscript-preparation steps. Familiarize yourself with ethical guidelines for using AI in research and publication, which are provided by journals and other ethics bodies. For example, some publishers now explicitly require researchers to declare the use of AI tools.
  • Be mindful about any potential unconscious or conscious human bias in machine learning algorithms before using them in research.


  1. Ultimate Guide to Data Collection with 15+ Use Cases in 2023. https://research.aimultiple.com/data-collection/.
  2. Data Collection. DataRobot AI Platform https://www.datarobot.com/wiki/data-collection/.


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Published on: Nov 08, 2023

She's a biologist turned freelance science journalist from India, with a passion to communicate science where it intersects with the society.
See more from Sneha Khedkar


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