Leveraging Generative AI to Enhance Student Understanding of Complex Research Concepts 

by Dyanne Fernandes
leveraging gen AI for research

As an academic, on-demand access to published research is indispensable. One study said that scientists devote 23% of their work time to reading research [1]. Another Elsevier report revealed that while finding and reading research is a time-intensive process, almost half of the shortlisted articles are not actually useful.[2] If you consider both these data points, that’s a significant amount of time spent scanning and comprehending information, taking notes, and conducting literature reviews. The reality looks a lot like a daily struggle with an average of 15 clicks just to find an article.[3] You could spend hours navigating dozens of browser tabs to find the answers hidden inside vast, technical content and then spending hours reading and trying to comprehend often complex research concepts.   

This is where Paperpal comes in to simplify the search process and save time for researchers. With Paperpal’s ‘Research’ feature, you can harness the power of large language models (LLMs) that tap into a database of over 250 million published research papers to get science-backed answers to all your research questions. Not only does this save time in staying updated with research, it also ensures you get credible insights as you write, ensuring an uninterrupted writing experience. Here’s how this advanced generative AI feature can transform your research journey. 

Skip Browser Searches and Get Answers from an Extensive Academic Database

Do you find it hard to define your research question? Or do you encounter unfamiliar concepts when doing your literature review? Use ‘Research’ to ask Paperpal any question phrased in plain English language, and get an accurate, structured answer backed in the published literature. Far from nonsense responses or made-up statements that have come to be associated with generative AI, Paperpal provides precise answers sourced and summarized from real papers that you can add to your citation library within Paperpal itself. Use these capabilities to collect sources and read papers relevant to your work.  

Figure 1. Credible response to a query on the Paperpal ‘Research’ feature 

The Paperpal ‘Research’ feature mines through millions of published documents to formulate a comprehensive, citation-backed response to your question. This ensures you don’t waste time sifting through multiple tabs and papers to get your answer. Within seconds of asking your query, you can read the summary generated and review full abstracts used to generate the response. ‘Research’ also provides papers related to your query for your reference, which can also be saved to review, read, and cite in your text later. This helps you curate an updated library of high-impact research that enables you to incorporate diverse perspectives and strengthen your arguments.  

Figure 2: Use “Add to Library” to save a citation for later reading or citing. 

Ask the AI, the way you’d ask a peer!

Academics may often rely on support from supervisors or peers when it comes to understanding complex research concepts or getting feedback on their work. But no longer. Paperpal’s ‘Research’ allows you to instantly ask your question, any way you prefer, in plain English and get an instant response. Unlike other generative AI tools, you needn’t spend too much time drafting a well-crafted question or prompt to get the right output. The feature has been designed to assist the academic journey and will provide you with a comprehensive response to your query, no matter how simplistic, leading to improved understanding and knowledge retention. It’s like always having a guide by your side! 

Paperpal’s ‘Research’ was built to fulfil the need for a safe, research-based platform that anyone in academia can use to ask questions and receive factual responses to aid quick comprehension and streamline their writing. In the era of advanced generative AI technology, it is critical to sort the unknown from the accurate, and academia is one such field where ensuring accuracy is a must. While most LLMs might provide hallucinated responses and made-up responses to your query, ‘Research’ will be sure to craft your response from only within published literature.  

With Paperpal’s ‘Research’, we offer students and academics a powerful ally in their quest to understand and master complex research concepts. Whenever you’re reading or writing and are stuck on something unfamiliar, head over to Paperpal and use ‘Research’ to get all your questions answered. Try Paperpal for free now and explore this for yourself! 


[1] Hubbard KE, Dunbar SD. Perceptions of scientific research literature and strategies for reading papers depend on academic career stage. PLoS One, December 2017. Available online at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5746228/  

[2] Trust in Research. Research Survey by Elsevier and Sense About Science, June 2019. 

[3] Kaube, B. Scientists should be solving problems, not struggling to access journals. The Guardian, May 2018. Available online at https://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/2018/may/21/scientists-access-journals-researcher-article

Paperpal is a comprehensive AI writing toolkit that helps students and researchers achieve 2x the writing in half the time. It leverages 21+ years of STM experience and insights from millions of research articles to provide in-depth academic writing, language editing, and submission readiness support to help you write better, faster. 

Get accurate academic translations, rewriting support, grammar checks, vocabulary suggestions, and generative AI assistance that delivers human precision at machine speed. Try for free or upgrade to Paperpal Prime starting at US$19 a month to access premium features, including consistency, plagiarism, and 30+ submission readiness checks to help you succeed. 

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