GrapAL (Graph database of Academic Literature) is a tool to query the Semantic Scholar knowledge graph, which contains more than 40 million academic papers (currently in computer science and biomedicine). It’s built using Neo4j. You can run queries in Neo4j’s interactive browser and the simple pattern-matching Cypher query language

Use of GrapAL and the data it contains is subject to the Semantic Scholar Dataset License Agreement.

The easiest way to get started with GrapAL is through the interactive browser, which you can use to write and visualize queries.

We also have a handy query loader that can be used to load, share, and save the results of queries. Find it at

Visual of the shortest paths between Swabha Swayamdipta and Regina Barzilay

For starters, copy and paste the following query into the interactive browser:

MATCH p=shortestPath((a:Author)-[:AUTHORS*0..6]-(b:Author)) 
WHERE a.first = "Swabha" 
    AND a.last = "Swayamdipta"
    AND b.first = "Regina" 
    AND b.last = "Barzilay"

You should see a path of nodes and edges connecting the two researchers!

In the following sections, we’ll outline some example queries for those who want to get the ball rolling followed by a guide to getting started with Cypher and GrapAL.