the Sciplore research group

Here you can find the projects and publications of the Sciplore research group.

Our current projects:

  • Citation-based Plagiarism Detection (CbPD)
  • Docear (successor of SciPlore MindMapping)
  • Originstamp (Trusted Timestamping using Bitcoin)
  • Citation Proximity Analysis: Recommendation and Clustering Algorithms for Academic Literature
  • Machine-readable Digital Library (Mr. DLib)
  • Bibliographic Metadata Extraction
  • Probability Abstract Service (PAS)

If you are interested in working with us, e.g. during a student project or for compiling a thesis, please see our dedicated page at the University of Konstanz for project proposals.

The SciPlore team develops

The SciPlore team develops novel approaches in citation and semantic text analysis for quantifying similarities between scientific articles. Similarity assessments are crucial to many Information Retrieval (IR) tasks, such as clustering of documents, recommending academic literature, or automatically detecting academic plagiarism.

At SciPlore we will be working with an international team of researchers, affiliated with the University of California Berkeley and the University of Magdeburg in Germany. As an intern, you will have the chance to spend 6-12 weeks abroad at a research institute collaborating with the SciPlore team.

What is Docear?

Docear is a unique solution to academic literature management. It seamlessly integrates mind mapping with a reference manager to help you organizing your thoughts and import the annotations you made while reading PDFs.

Docear’s approach, which we termed the ‘literature suite concept’, helps you with all three steps of the reading – creative thinking – and the writing process:

  • organize your thoughts and annotations (mind map)
  • create new documents (exporting outlines from mind map)
  • discover new academic literature (recommender system)

Docear does this in a single-section user-interface. This distinguishes the software from the interfaces of competitors, including Zotero, JabRef, Mendeley, Endnote, etc. Our goal is that you never get lost or forget an idea again.

Docear helps you draft and write academic documents, e.g.  papers, books, or theses, by organizing the notes, highlights, comments, bookmarks, etc. you created in PDFs in a single mind map. Docear works with standard PDF annotations, so you can use your favorite PDF viewer. You can export an outline of your paper from your mind map to your word processor.

The literature suite concept includes a recommender system that lets you discover new academic literature and a reference manager that helps you cite sources and create your bibliography.

Docear is free and open source and offers many additional features. You can find the details here:

We created an introductory video for Docear

We created an introductory video for Docear. It aims at providing a brief overview of Docear’s capabilities and the basic workflow. Please let us know what you think could be improved. Personally, I believe it could be done much better in general but we don’t have the skills to do it ;-). If you have experience with video editing, please don’t hesitate to make your own video. If someone is interested I would also gladly share the raw material.

The main idea behind Docear

The main idea behind Docear is that you annotate everything you consider important in a PDF. That means, you highlight text, write comments, or create bookmarks in the PDF.

To create bookmarks and comments, you can use almost any PDF reader (highlighting text is a bit more complicated). These PDF annotations are then imported by Docear to a mind map. In this mind map you can organize all your annotations into categories, create further nodes and add more text.

With the integrated reference manager, bibliographic data can be added to each of the PDF annotations (and all other nodes in the mind map). Subsequently, you can create a new mind map, drag e.g. a research paper, copy your annotations to the draft and if you need more information you just click on the PDF annotation and the PDF will open on the page the annotation was made. Watch this video to get a better idea of what Docear can do (watch it in full-screen mode).

Up to now we recommended using BibTeX4Word

Up to now we recommended using BibTeX4Word to cite your papers in Microsoft Word. However, the installation of BibTeX4Word is complex and its use is not that user friendly (the Word add-ons from Zotero and Mendeley are much more intuitive).

Originally, we planned  to develop our own Docear4Word but we just didn’t have the time because we want to focus on Docear itself. Therefore we wrote a detailed specification of what we want to have developed. If you think you could help us (for money or even free), or if you have ideas of what is missing in the specification, please let us know.