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23 Reflections to Recap Zendy’s 2023 Journey

Welcome to Zendy’s annual recap, where we reflect on another year of milestones. The ever-evolving landscape of scholarly communication this year was anything but stagnant, dominated by themes of openness, integrity, inclusion, and innovation. As we reflect on 2023, we’re proud to have welcomed new publishers, attended events, celebrated milestones with our users, and released some really great features to continue to support our users on their research and learning journey.

How we enhanced our user experience

  1. We developed and launched ZAIA

Our most anticipated and exciting feature launch this year was ZAIA – Zendy’s AI assistant. Ask any question, and ZAIA will analyse millions of researchers papers to give you credible answers backed by references. If you haven’t already, log in to your Zendy account and put ZAIA to the test!

  1. We launched Zendy Plus globally

We launched our global subscription plan at Frankfurt Book Fair 2023! The plan allows students, researchers and professionals globally to access scholarly material from leading publishers for the monthly price of a single research paper. This was a key milestone for us as our previous Zendy Plus plan was limited to several countries. Having an affordable and equitable access model strengthens our mission to remove the barriers to scholarly literature. 

  1. Keyphrase Highlighting

We released an AI-powered keyphrase highlighting tool. Instead of having multiple tabs open, looking for definitions and further research on a concept, Zendy highlights keyphrases in just one click to allow readers to grasp key research concepts quickly.

  1. Summarisation

We also released an AI-powered summarisation tool. This tool summarises lengthy research papers into a concise paragraph on demand. This significantly helps readers save time during literature review. 

  1. Reading Lists

Earlier this year, we launched a reading list feature. Reading lists can be used to organise and categorise research papers according to projects, subject areas or whichever method the reader finds simplest to navigate through. 

  1. New UI coming soon

The team has been working on a brand new UI to transform the user journey on Zendy. Zendy will reveal a new fresh look very soon, with additional personalisation features to further enhance the discovery of scholarly literature. 

Milestones we marked with our users 

  1. Welcomed over 400,000 readers

We’re proud to support over 400,000 readers from 200 countries and territories on Zendy! We thank our valued community for their consistent support. The trust of our community fuels our mission to keep striving for a world where equal access to research is a reality. 

  1. Over a 6 million searches & 2.5 million downloads

We have seen over 6 million keywords searched on the platform. Searches ranging from the neural networks, to enteric bacteria, and social impact – we’re proud to support a diverse community of students, researchers, and professionals. We marked over 2.5 million downloads on Zendy! As we continue to work with new publishers, we look forward to bringing an even better selection of content to our readers. 

We exhibited, presented, and attended many events!

  1. Presented at Charleston Hub 2023

Our Partner Relations Manager, Sara Crowley Vigneau presented at Charleston Hub in partnership with IGI Global. The presentation titled ‘On the Open Road: The story of an OA publication through the stakeholder journey’ looked at the journey of a publication through the eyes of each custodian. 

  1. Exhibited at STEP 2023

Earlier this year, our team exhibited Zendy at STEP 2023. Showcasing our Zendy alongside various startups inspired the team to learn from other tech products in the Middle Eastern region. 

  1. Sponsored and presented at the Forum for Open Research MENA 

We were proud to sponsor the Forum of Open Research MENA, which is an event that highlights and advances open access initiatives in the Arab region. Our head of technology, Rodrigo Pinto, presented his insightful research paper titled, “Leveraging Big Data and Machine Learning to Enhance Open Data Quality: Insights for Developing Regions.” 

  1. Exhibited at Frankfurt Book Fair

It was a pleasure to exhibit and connect with new and existing partners at Frankfurt Book fair 2023. We hosted a launch event at this year’s fair, showcasing our Zendy Plus global subscription offering. Thanks to all who attended! 

  1. Presented at the MENA Panel

Our co-founder, Kamran Kardan spoke at The MENA panel titled, “AI wrote this abstract: The Impact of AI on higher education and academic research.” The discussion touched on the impact of AI on higher education, dissecting how it affects teaching, learning and ethical guidelines. 

  1. Attended London Book Fair

We attended the London Book Fair earlier this year. Our team met with many of our partners and other key leaders in scholarly communication. We look forward to exhibiting at next year’s fair.

  1. Exhibited at UKSG 2023

We also exhibited at our first UKSG conference this year. It was a really great experience connecting with and learning from some of the best minds in our global knowledge community. 

  1. Joint Webinar with InTechOpen

We partnered with InTechOpen to host a joint webinar titled, “Emerging Technologies – Partnering for Accessibility, Discoverability and a Sustainable Future.” Zendy’s Head of Marketing, Monica Chinsami, presented on the panel alongside Prof Tatiana Morosuk, Editorial Board Member of IntechOpen’s Green Energy and Environmental Technology (GEET) journal, and Dr Jo Havemann, Co-founder of AfricArXiv.

We welcomed new partners

  1. IEEE

In September, we integrated IEEE’s open access research content. This partnership has brought significant technological research across various areas of study, like aerospace, robotics and more on Zendy. 

  1. IT Governance

In June, we partnered with IT Governance, which is a leading publisher of books on information technology, cybersecurity and governance. 

  1. IGI Global

We partnered with IGI Global, a leading publisher focused on research across different specialisms under the vast umbrella of Science. This partnership saw the addition of leading e-journals as well as book content across subject areas including Business & Management; Scientific, Technical, Medical (STM); and Education. 

  1. Bristol University Press

We also signed an agreement with Bristol University Press. BUP is well known for producing scholarship that advances theory, knowledge and learning within and beyond academia.

  1. InTechOpen

We also welcomed IntechOpen to our partner community. InTechOpen specialises in journals and books in the fields of Medicine, Technology and Science. 

A couple of things we published

  1. Published SDG Report

This year, we published an SDG report in partnership with Knowledge E. This comprehensive report helps us keep track of our efforts in accelerating the aims of the UN’s publishers compact. With a focus on SDG 4 (Quality Education) and SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities), Zendy progresses to ensure that academic research is accessible to everyone everywhere. 

  1. An analysis of OER’s on Research Information

Our co-founder, Kamran Kardan, wrote a piece on the future of Open Educational Resources and how the industry is preparing for them. In summary, with the uncapped potential of responsible AI, the future looks bright and full of innovative opportunities to positively impact societal progress.

We look forward to continuing our journey together in 2024, and we thank you for your unwavering support. 

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Zendy Launches ZAIA, a Domain-Specific AI Assistant

United Arab Emirates, 15 December 2023 – AI-powered research library, Zendy, announced the launch of its AI Assistant, ZAIA, a domain-specific Large Language Model (LMM) developed by Zendy’s data science team.

ZAIA (short for Zendy AI Assistant) exists to help researchers quickly understand key research concepts and discover research papers that specifically link to inputs. These two functions enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the literature review process.

You can ask any research-related question, and ZAIA will analyse millions of academic research papers to give you credible answers backed by references. 

Unlike general-purpose language models, ZAIA is trained with Zendy’s own data. In the future,  it can also query, in real-time, additional sources from publisher data that are not available on the public domain.

There is growing recognition of the necessity for domain-specific solutions to strengthen the credibility of data. Fine tuning models on domain-specific data narrows down the LLM’s focus to improve performance in a defined context, thus reducing the likelihood of hallucinations.

“We developed ZAIA to advance the usage of AI on research platforms and improve the research discovery process for researchers. ZAIA aims to assist readers on Zendy by quickly solving research-related questions. ZAIA stands out from other AI products as it is fed real-time data and information available on Zendy, which is then fine-tuned to efficiently cater to our users,” said Zendy’s Head of Technology, Rodrigo Pinto. 

“The first iteration of our LLM, ZAIA, is our unique AI offering for Zendy users who can now leverage the best of AI to improve their research discovery process. This is a very exciting milestone for Zendy and we look forward to the feedback from our valued users,” said Zendy Co-founder Kamran Kardan. 

Committed to helping foster an ecosystem of collaborative partnerships rooted in responsible AI practices, Zendy’s Large Language Model is built to be entirely customisable. It has the capacity to learn from diverse datasets with integration made simple through Restful API’s or Websocket APIs. 

“Bigger picture, our technology presents limitless potential for organisations and institutions yet to integrate the power of LLMs into their workflows. The potential is immeasurable, with use cases including on-demand tutoring, psychology support services, employee onboarding, the list goes on,” continued Kamran Kardan. 

To find out more about Zendy’s AI solutions email

You can use ZAIA now on Zendy. To access, log in or sign up to Zendy:

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Understanding Research Hypothesis: Perfect your hypothesis for your research statement

In academic research, the hypothesis statement directs the course of investigation and exploration. It serves as the foundation of an experiment as it is a proposed outcome, this guides the methodology and findings of a research design. In this blog, we shed light on the significance and intricacies of formulating an effective hypothesis that solidifies the approach while investigating its impact on relevant variables. 

What is a research hypothesis?

A research hypothesis is a testable statement that predicts the relationship between two variables and how they impact one another. A good research hypothesis has no ambiguity, clearly specifies variables and is structured to be proven or countered depending on the trajectory of the study. This statement should also specify how the study aims to generate new knowledge through the experiment. 

What are the different types of hypotheses? 

Hypothesis TypeDefinitionExample
Simple Proposes a relationship between independent and dependent variable.Increased sunlight exposure leads to higher plant growth.
Complex Proposes relationships between two or more independent and dependent variables.Increased sunlight exposure impacts the growth rate of specific plant species, and this effect is contingent upon factors such as the plant’s genetic makeup, soil composition, and optimal climatic conditions, implying that while sunlight plays a crucial role, its influence on plant growth is mediated by multifaceted environmental and genetic variables.
DirectionalDetails the directions derived from theory, specifies the steps to be taken to identify a relationship between relevant variables. Increased sunlight exposure significantly increases the rate of plant growth.
Non-directionalDoes not predict exact nature of relationship between variables and is usually applied when there’s an absence of theory and contradictory results.There is a relationship between sunlight exposure and plant growth.
NullProposes that there is no relationship between variables, justifies the generation of results through chance. There is no significant effect of increased sunlight exposure on plant growth.
AlternativeOpposite to null, alternative hypothesis states that there is a significant relationship between two variables. Increased sunlight exposure is associated with higher plant growth.

Components of a hypothesis

In the case of research experiments, a good hypothesis contains independent and dependent variables, the predicted relationship between them, and the outcome of this relationship. 

Example hypothesis: 

  • Variables: Employee job satisfaction (independent variable) influences productivity levels (dependent variable) within an organization.
  • Predicted Relationship: Higher job satisfaction among employees will lead to increased productivity levels.
  • Outcome: The study might find that departments or teams with higher job satisfaction scores tend to demonstrate greater productivity, implying a positive relationship between job satisfaction and productivity.

Why is a well-written hypothesis important? 

A well-written hypothesis is the foundation of a research study, it helps the researcher determine how to address the investigation. A good hypothesis also aids in assuming the probability of the study’s failure or progress while also ensuring the methodologies are scientifically valid. Furthermore, the research hypothesis statement links the underlying theory to the research question while also measuring the reliability and validity of the study itself. 

Common hypothesis errors to avoid

Your research hypothesis should be specific and clear. When constructing the hypothesis, try to be as concise as possible while understanding that less is more. The following should be avoided in research hypotheses: 

  • Ambiguity, overgeneralisation and lack of specifics
  • Having too many variables without establishing clear relationship between them
  • Unvalid or insufficient justification of variable relationship


  1. What are some tips for ensuring testability of a hypothesis?

The hypothesis should be structured in a way wherein the possibility of it being being false or true is present. Furthermore, the results of the hypothesis should be reproducible. 

  1. How do I differentiate between a research question and a research hypothesis?

A research question states what the study will investigate without making any assumptions or predictions, whereas a hypothesis answers that question through predicting relationships between variables and their possible outcome. 

  1. What are the potential drawbacks of a poorly formulated hypothesis?

Having a poor hypothesis structure can negatively impact the research design as the hypothesis statement guides the methodology and findings sections. 

Discover millions of open access research papers across an array of disciplines on Zendy now.

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See the Top Reads of November 2023

As we approach the end of 2023, this blog explores November’s insightful top reads featuring research papers from various areas of study such as psychology, political media, law, cancer research and technology within justice systems. 

  1. The Art of Remembering

This article discusses how our memory can be strengthened in this printing and note-making era, through the “loci method”. This method involves constructing visual images of objects and mentally placing them in a familiar space, to recall the memory you would need to simply retrace your steps back to where you mentally placed the item. 

Learn more here: Psychology: The Art of Remembering

  1. Post-mining Policies in The Eastern USA Coal Region

This journal article discusses the development of mining laws in the US. Since 1977, mine operators are required to conduct a pre-mining analysis and designate a usage for the land once mining and extraction has concluded. Accepted post-mining use of land are: prime farmland, hay land and pasture, biofuel crops, forestry, wildlife habitat and building site development. This article emphasises that post-mining conditions should provide ecosystem services and lands capable of handling future societal needs. 

Learn more here: Post-mining policies and practices in the Eastern USA coal region

  1. Integrative Approach to Cancer Research

This article states that precision oncology has progressed cancer treatment focused on actionable gene mutation, however the majority of cancers don’t have druggable oncogene mutations. The paper proposes that for precision oncology to progress, it has to consider more than just genetics; therefore suggesting researchers should focus on immunotherapy which is a treatment used to help the body’s immune system recognise and attack cancer cells. Furthermore, the paper urges medical professionals to take advantage of research across numerous fields as patient care is not one universal approach. 

Learn more here: Integrative approaches to cancer research

  1. Political Public Relations: Media and Information Management

This article argues that information in political PR is disseminated by manipulating the material, which is commonly known as “communication spin”. It explores how governments assign communications specialists to execute these spins since media and information management are the most important aspects of political PR. The paper goes on to assess and analyse various spin techniques used in political PR that governments deem “acceptable.” 

Learn more here: Political Public Relations − Media and Information Management

  1. Algorithms in Swiss Criminal Justice System

The Swiss justice system is shaped by algorithms which were implemented due to demands for efficiency and political advancement. This paper calls for a critical evaluation and research-based optimisation of these algorithms as the societal implications and legal foundations on the usage of such technology is loosely considered. Furthermore, the paper suggests that potential racial disparity and decline in user responsibility have been criticised widely. 

Learn more here: Smart criminal justice: exploring the use of algorithms in the Swiss criminal justice system

Discover millions of e-books, journal articles, proceedings and more on Zendy now.

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Zendy’s Head of Technology, Rodrigo Pinto, presents at F.O.R.M 2023.

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – 28 November 2023 – Our head of technology, Rodrigo Pinto Mendez, presented his paper titled: “Leveraging Big Data and Machine Learning to Enhance Open Data Quality: Insights for Developing Regions” at the Forum for Open Research panel that tackled “Open Data and Open Source: Benefits and Case Studies.”

The presentation addresses the need for accurate and reliable open data, focusing on developing regions that can accelerate their social and economic progress through data-driven insights. It explores the relationship between big data and machine learning in enhancing the quality of open data while also observing how open data can be extracted, transformed, and unified. The talk also assesses how machine learning can be used to detect anomalies within datasets.

About F.O.R.M. 2023

The 2023 Annual Forum featured panels addressing key themes related to the advancement of Open Science policies and practices in research institutions and communities throughout the Arab world. This 2023 conference theme was: Democratizing Knowledge: The evolution of open science ecosystems and communities in the Arab World.