The designers' goal for Open Knowledge Maps is to revolutionize scientific knowledge. The visual interface dramatically increases the visibility of research findings and aids users in exploring and discovering scientific knowledge.
According to the authors, getting an overview of a research field and being able to identify a set of relevant findings pertaining to one's information need are prerequisites for research, evidence-based practice and self-directed learning alike. With traditional, list-based search engines, users have to examine articles and their relationships by hand, which is a tedious and time-consuming process. Open Knowledge Maps attempts to solve these challenges by providing an open exploration and discovery system that leverages the emerging digital open science ecosystem. Knowledge maps provide an instant overview of a field by showing the main areas of the field at a glance, as well as papers related to each area.