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For Librarians - Library Zone | LibraryZone

Articles, manuscripts, papers, and reports… Don't let them get in the way of the research!

For anyone who has carried out research, or supported researchers in their work, you will know the challenges of organizing the literature and associated documents in a systematic manner. With documents ranging from articles to conference proceedings, lab reports and more, it can be tough to keep track of all information pertinent to your own research as well as staying informed of developments from fellow researchers.
This was the situation in which Alexander Griekspoor and Tom Groothuis found themselves while doing their PhDs at the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI). After desperately seeking a solution to address their daily work needs in the lab, and finding none, they decided to create it themselves. The result was Papers, a unique reference manager that centralizes and organizes references and documents in one tool. “Alex and Tom first created Papers as a means to provide a better way to organize their research documents,” said Christine Buske, Papers Genius and Marketing Manager. “At the time, I don’t think they thought that just a few years later Papers would be such a popular workflow tool!”
From its humble beginnings as a home-made software solution for two PhD students, today Papers is a comprehensive workflow reference manager which includes more than 25 built in repositories (such as PubMed, Scopus, Google Scholar, Web of Science, and ArXiv), tools for saving, highlighting and annotating articles plus the ability to cite them in almost any application – and much more. “Papers has many fantastic features,” said Christine, “And as a researcher myself, the features I used the most were the recent articles (where you can search for recent publications by author or periodical), magic citations (which allows you to cite in almost any application on your computer), and the fact that Papers can organize over 85 different document types. I kept not only my research articles in Papers, but also travel invoices, conference registrations, and reports. Now I use Papers for my work documents, and I still have my research library archived.”
While other reference management tools may offer similar tools and features, what seems to set Papers apart is the user experience - the Papers team once even received a hand written love-letter from a satisfied user! Christine commented, “Papers is really unique in how much users love the program. A feature could be present in Papers or another comparable tool, but what matters is how the user interacts with that feature. The feedback we get from our users is that Papers is just easy to use. In many ways it can do more than many other programs out there, but mostly it is different not in what it performs, but how it performs.”
With Papers, users can create their own personal libraries – while drawing on the experience of their own librarians to help them find the literature they need to populate the resource. “With Papers it is all about the end user; we want to make the Papers user’s life easier by supporting their workflow needs. Having a central library for all research documents, and being able to seamlessly organise and cite these, are the core functionalities for Papers. In that regard we mirror the goal of libraries who want to support patrons, make their lives easier and their research more effective.” Papers is also device agnostic, available for a number of operating systems including Mac, Windows and iOS.
For a company built on innovation in both product development and culture (the Papers team were initially distributed across different locations and it took Christine over 2 years to finally shake hands with her boss!), the future must be equally exciting. So what can users expect from the recent acquisition by Springer? Christine concluded “We joined Springer to drive the development of Papers forward and we are keeping our promise. We’ve continued to release improvements and some significant updates; most notably we brought the annotations feature over to Papers for Windows. We are working hard on a number of exciting major new updates, but they are all still a surprise, so stay tuned!”
For more information about Papers, you can download a 30-day free, full feature trial.
 
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