Ten years of the CiteAb search engine!


Min Read

In this blog:

  • What features and data have we added to the search engine since we launched?
  • How have our new partnerships improved the search engine?
  • We ask you to let us know how you use our reagent tool!

Ten years of the CiteAb reagent search engine equates to ten years of researchers using our tool to find reagents that work for their experiments. That’s ten years of reducing reagent waste, money spent and time involved when the wrong product is purchased.

We launched as an antibody search engine in 2013 with nearly 1 million antibodies – many more than we expected.

A year later, in 2014, CiteAb as a company was founded as we spun out from the University of Bath. We would have struggled to imagine that ten years on we would have data on over 12 million reagents, across five reagent types, with a tool that helps over 75,000 researchers each month. In this time, our search has remained completely free, and completely unbiased (we only rank products by citations).

Today, we take a moment to look back on how we have grown, and say a big thank you to all our users, partners and team for their support over the years.

Statistics on the research reagent search engine

Plus, we want to hear from CiteAb search engine users! Let us know how CiteAb has helped your research. If you have used our search engine, reach out to the team to be featured in a blog highlighting your research and experience of CiteAb.

How have we grown?

CiteAb data collection technology

The CiteAb life science search engine is powered by our comprehensive citation database.

We collect this citation data using a unique combination of AI and human reviewing to ensure accuracy. In our ten years, we’ve worked hard to expand our database by continuing to improve this core technology.

Our pipeline has enabled us to collect data on over 12 million reagents (including seven million research antibodies) and over six million highly accurate citations, with that number growing everyday.

Expanding our reagent coverage

We started life as an antibody search engine. Over the years, we worked hard to grow our reagent coverage to help researchers find the right products for many more of their experiments. We now cover five reagent types with dedicated search engines: 

Our users have guided us to which reagent type we expand into next. So, do let us know which reagent type would be the most useful for us to collect data on in the future.

We’ve also added many more filters to our search engine to help researchers find products more efficiently; you can search for reagents from certain suppliers, for antibodies with particular conjugates, clonalities and modifications, reagents for a specific application and much more. 

Try it out here:

Reaching more scientists

Our user base has grown steadily since our launch. In 2017, we reached our first big milestone and broke 50,000 users per month.

The reagent search engine now has users in all ten of the top universities and nine of the top ten pharmaceutical companies around the world. Our users cover over 200 countries, from over 1,500 universities – more than we thought was possible in our early days. 

We also brought in the option of becoming a registered user, which means you can view our published images and save reagents in your account.

If you like the CiteAb search engine, remember to tell your colleagues about us so we can keep this number increasing and help as many researchers as we can!

What features have we added to the CiteAb reagent search engine?

We are committed to making sure our data is as valuable to the life science community as it can be. Here are a couple of features we’ve added to help search engine users…

Antibody validation data

As co-organisers in the organisation of the International Antibody Validation Meeting, we know how important antibody validation is in life science to improve experimental reproducibility. 

We started to collect data on antibody validations, and in 2019 we made this data available on the search engine to give an additional layer of information to evaluate when choosing research antibodies.

Experimental Published Images

When evaluating a reagent, it can be useful to visually see the product at work. We now collect published images for antibodies and ELISA kits, and we made this content available on the search engine in 2019. These images are annotated with the reactant and application, and cropped to the panel of interest to help researchers plan their experiments.

KO validation experimental published image collected and cropped by CiteAb
KO validation published experimental image collected and cropped by CiteAb

How have our partnerships impacted the search engine?

In 2022, we were excited to announce several partnerships. This means our search can be used in new ways, by new audiences. 

Publisher partnerships

We’ve worked hard to build close partnerships with publishers Springer Nature and Wiley which helps to improve our search engine for researchers, and data-based products for suppliers. 

Our new partnerships mean that we are able to apply our unique text mining technology to high quality closed-access publications, unlocking the valuable information hidden in the unstructured text across thousands of articles. 

We then make this citation data freely available on the search engine. This provides further information for researchers to help plan their experiments, evaluate products and move forward in their research faster. 

New partnerships

In our novel partnership with JAGGAER, the CiteAb search engine was integrated into their research materials management (RMM) platform. This means JAGGAER RMM users are able to be transferred to CiteAb to search for the appropriate bioreagent for their work, before being taken back to JAGGAER’s site to buy the product efficiently and easily – helping to streamline the complicated process of reagent selection and purchasing. 

Reflections on ten years

Ten years of the CiteAb search engine timeline

Our CEO and founder, Dr Andrew Chalmers, commented:

‘It is so exciting to be celebrating 10 years of our search engine with 10 years of our company coming up next January. We have come so far and what is exciting for me is we have so many new plans for the coming years. 

Of course none of this would happen without our amazing team (thank you everyone!), brilliant supplier contacts who constantly provide advice and feedback and new partners who have come on board recently. Together we help researchers from across the world carry out their experiments and to me that is really exciting!’

As for the team, we are excited to see how the CiteAb search will develop.

We want to extend a massive thank you to all our users and partners for your support over the last ten years! Here’s to the next ten.

  • Skye and the CiteAb team
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