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Library Services

Tools and Platforms

Our quick overview of AI platforms and tools that could be useful to consider within the areas of Learning + Teaching and Research.

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Library Services has been looking at some interesting AI powered tools and platforms that are available to access on the internet right now.

We would suggest caution with using these tools and platforms and where necessary you should declare your use of these such as in acknowledgements or references. Focus on outlining how you have used them in producing any related work or material.

AI Platforms

AI platforms (such as those we've listed below) provide a particular focus on using AI when it comes to accessing, using and summarising academic research.



  • Based off open access to millions of academic journal articles - therefore potentially produces less hallucinations
  • Can be used to explore concepts, ask specific questions/prompts
  • Can be used to summarise academic material and compare insights across similar articles


  • Free version has limits such as additional features not being available without payment
  • Some of the additional tools available in the platform do not perform very well - stay clear of those



  • Clean interface with clear instruction to get started with the platform
  • Free version is clear on usage terms and limits
  • Can upload PDFs to use software to summarise articles


  • Free version is very limited for long term use and will run out of chances to question/prompt once usage limit is reached
  • Assumes that content uploaded is allowed under copyright

Semantic Scholar


  • More traditional way to search for articles rather than using questions/prompts - but powered with AI behind the scenes (and remains free to use with no limits)
  • Offers direct access to PDFs/Open Access versions of articles where available
  • TLDRs summaries taken from the article direct


  • Traditional way to search - doesn't offer as many extra features as other AI powered platforms

AI Tools

There are a number of emerging tools that use Gen AI and we've provided a quick overview for some of these below. This is inclusive of highlighting some potential benefits and drawbacks in making use of the tools.


The most well known generative AI tool. The free version provides unlimited messages and interactions within a 'chatbot' interface.


  • Free (for version 3.5)
  • Huge scope to ask any question/prompt you could think of
  • Usually quick to answer


  • Free version lacks more recent information and data
  • Does not generate references to where the answer displayed has been generated from e.g. sources
  • Is known to hallucinate and make up references when it comes to asking for academic articles and books


An interesting combination of Gen AI and RAG that enables you to upload and chat with PDF documents such as journal articles or book chapters.


  • Free for up to 3 PDFs day (up to 32 MB / 2000 pages in length)
  • Ask up to 50 questions a day using the chat bot feature
  • Only generates answers based off the contents of the PDF uploaded


  • Limited free use
  • Be careful with uploading copyrighted content
  • Assumes that content uploaded is allowed under copyright


An interesting new search engine that offers free access (up to a limit) and different focuses depending on what you need to do.


  • A new way to search for information - including an academic specific focus
  • Generates references and links to where it has generated a response from
  • Free version has daily limits to the amount of searching you can do


  • Daily limits if you are looking to be a heavy user of the tool
  • Able to deal with face based questions and search terms only
  • Will need to switch the focus to 'academic' to receive more accurate results