Scolary helps you to find the right tool for your workflow

It has been a while since the last update of Connected researchers. Life makes it hard for me to keep up with this site while managing a research group and a young startup. I very much will welcome help by the way! Regardless, I am keeping the site very much alive because of the strong interest from the scientific community to discover digital tools that can help them do Science better.

Luckily, Connected Researcher is not alone in this effort. Scolary being the latest. Since I think any effort making our lives as researchers easier is worth publishing. So here you go:

Scolary is a free and open compendium of software tools for the science and research community. On Scolary, you will find a growing collection of products that can improve your current workflow, served by the scientific community itself.

There are a few ways to discover tools on Scolary. Worflows are compilations of tools other scientists have put together for you. You can try out different workflows to see which works best for you. You can simply use the “discover” function and search your way into the database. Or you can explore the tools via pre-set categories, similar to what you will find on Connected Researchers (planning, exploring, analyzing..). 

Scolary will work best with the use and input from us researchers and from tool makers. So have a look! And good luck to Scolary!

12 new digital tools added to the list

In no particular order, here come a dozen new tool added to the list of digital tools for researchers that I would encourage you to explore. You will find a mix of electronic lab notebooks, writing tools, lab project management platforms, literature search engines, and more!

  • How Can I Share It – Find information and tools to ensure your articles can be shared with your colleagues quickly and easily.
  • Code Ocean – Cloud-based computational platform which provides a way to share, discover and run published code.
  • Authorcafe – Authoring and Publishing Services platform for scholarly writing.
  • antYbuddY – An independent antibody review platform and supporting peer-to-peer forum.
  • Editorlookup – Search tool to help find scientific professionals for academic tasks, such as editors and reviewers for scientific manuscripts.
  • Ref-n-Write – Microsoft Word Add-in that helps you improve your English writing skills.
  • LiveLabSpace – Collaborative research tool that lets you plan experiments, replicate outcomes and generate research papers.
  • Thinkable – Platform to mobilize knowledge and fund breakthrough ideas.
  • Labspace – A collaborative electronic lab notebook for research teams including notebook, protocols, materials.
  • Researcher App – Browse and filter papers from hundreds of journals on your mobile device.
  • SciFlow – A digital publication platform for researchers.
  • Meta – Innovation in the exploration of papers and authors.

As always, if you have discovered a new digital tool that is not in the list, or you have developed a new tool yourself, feel free to contact me so I add it to the list.

Update of the list of digital tools for researchers.

Here is quick update of the list on digital tools for researchers with a few additions. I am also finalising the writeup of the results from the digital science industry survey that was launched a few months back. Be on the lookout for that.

As always, I am more than happy to consider any tools suggested for the list. Contributions in the form of reviews, comments, tutorial are also more than welcome.

Collaborative writing tools

  • Write – Distraction-free text editor for writing productivity.

Find and share data and code

  • Deveo – Free, private Git, Mercurial, and SVN repository management platform.

Search engines and curators

  • Delvehealth – A data collection of global clinical trials, clinical trial investigator profiles, publications and drug development pipelines.


  • Animate Science – Helps scientists get their work noticed by their peers and the general public using visual media.

Work with data

  • OMICtools –  A manually curated metadatabase of genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics.

Connected Researchers Update

checklist-1402461_640-1The survey we are running on digital science startups will soon come to an end. We have nearly 40 participants at the moment, which should provide us with a good overview of what digital science companies can look like. We will post the results on this blog in November. But if you are digital science tool developer, it is still time to participate!!

We also have updated the list of digital tools for researchers with 7 new tools. First, a tool for the  Fundraising / Grant writing section.

  • Publiconn – Social network for organisations which are users of public or private donor funding and those organisations that provide funding.

Two platforms at the intersection of knowledge discovery tools and science outreach.

  • LiteracyTool – Educational web-platform helping with the discovery, understanding, and exploration of your scientific topics of interest.
  • We Share Science – A place to share, search, organize, and connect research videos across research disciplines.

Two data-focused platforms with social network integration.

  • Delve Health – Comprehensive source of real-time intelligence focused on life science research industry.
  • Datazar – Research collaboration platform where you can easily explore, use and share data.

A platform for literature discovery and reading. With a strong social component.

  • Biohunter – Portal with literature search, data statistics, reading, sorting, storing, field expert identification and journal finder.

And a new kind of collaborative article visualization tool.

  • PaperHive – Simplifying research communication and introducing new ways of collaboration through in-document discussions.

Digital science industry, who are you?

Looking at thquestion-marke digital science industry develop and mature over the past few years has been truly fascinating. There is tremendous excitement from entrepreneurs about the enormous transformative potential of translating new web technologies to the scientific research world. And there are also many frustrations and challenges that come with such major changes in the research and innovation ecosystems.

Although this website and others try to capture these changes and trends, my feeling is that there is yet a clear picture of what the digital science industry looks like. What type of organizations is this emerging community formed of? How well are they doing? How do its actors see the future? Is this even a community? And how can Connected Researchers and other alike can help?

With the help of, I have created a short survey that aims to fill that gap. Better data about the digital science industry will help the entrepreneur get a better sense of this emerging world-community. It will also make it possible for funders and policy makers to better support the digital science industry. Feel free to fill it in if you define yourself as a scientific tool developer.

Survey — —

All results will be anonymized and published on this blog  and LabWorm blogs.

Electronic lab notebooks and the future of science discussed at Labfolder workshop


I was fortunate to attend a Labfolder workshop on the 2nd and 3rd of June 2016 in Berlin (Germany). This was the opportunity to discuss user experiences of Labfolder’s electronic lab notebook (eLN), but also to talk more generally about digital science tools and their integration the researcher’s workflow. I thought I would share what I’ve learned during that session.

The session first started with a presentation of the smartLAB initiative from the Institute of Technical Chemistry at Leibniz University Hannover (Germany). There, a research group is developing the lab of the future, both on the hardware and software integration side. They have a few fascinating videos that shows very concretely what a fully digitalized laboratory could soon look like.

A prototype of their concept developed with several partners including Labfolder has already been presented to the public earlier this year. Dr. Patrick Lindner represented the project, and mostly talked about their smartLAB’s efforts to connect laboratory instruments to the internet and about their collaboration with Labfolder to directly feed the data back to an eLN.

Then, Dr. Alexander Grossman discussed about the ScienceOpen platform that he launched in 2014. ScienceOpen now aggregates of over 15 million articles, with the possibility of post-publication peer review (commenting) and articles rating. But ScienceOpen is also set up as a publishing platform. Researchers can prepare manuscripts directly on the platform, then release their draft as a publication when they are ready. The article then relies on post-publication peer review for its quality control, receiving only an editorial check before publication. Perhaps the future of scientific publication?

Prof. Ulrich Dirnagl, director of the department of Experimental Neurology at the Charité medical university in Berlin (Germany), gave an impressive talk about their efforts to bring data management into the 21st century. They realized that electronic lab notebooks are essential to improve sustainability of data, its findability, and the reproducibility of experiments. He pointed out to an article he published at the beginning of 2016 that constitutes a handbook for introducing eLN in academic life sciences laboratories. He starts the article with this striking image of two lab notebook entries looking very similar despite over a hundred years of history separating them. His message: surely we can do better today.

Image from Dirnagl, U. & Przesdzing, I. A pocket guide to electronic laboratory notebooks in the academic life sciences. F1000Res. 5, 2 (2016).

Image from Dirnagl, U. & Przesdzing, I. A pocket guide to electronic laboratory notebooks in the academic life sciences. F1000Res. 5, 2 (2016).

Prof. Dirnagl also explained how he led efforts to equip his department with an ISO 9001- certified quality management system. First, this means they had to think about a system to manage the quality of the work conducted in the department (which is already beyond what any lab I have worked in has ever done). Then, they had to made sure this system would meet the type of strict requirements ISO norms usually entail. A courageous initiative since ISO norms are nearly never found in academic laboratories, which are more accustomed to improvisation than standardization. Although it required habit changes, Prof Dirnagl explained the personnel was overall enthusiastic about the changes and that the laboratory is now certified. Prof. Dirnagl is now assessing the impact of the certification on the quality of research and is reflecting about alternative quality-control standards that could be more adapted to academic setting.

Of course industrials routinely adopt such standards because of strict regulations and the strong marketing impact ISO-certifications can have. Dr. Sam Moré is director of a nanotechnology company called DendroPharm that develops nano-drug delivery vehicles for veterinary applications. Dr. Moré explained that their quality management system is also certified ISO 9001 and described how the use of a eLN was essential in that process.

Finally, on day 2, Joram Schimmeyer a PhD student in the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam (Germany) presented his digital research workflow. He explained how nearly all of his work is now in digital form and how an eLN fits perfectly in that workflow.

In addition to these amazing talks, the workshop was an opportunity to talk about the future of the electronic lab notebook and how they fit in the future of science as a whole. These were interesting discussions, that I leave for another post.

Pitchfest: Digital Science startup competition!

Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 10.57.36Digital Science has been a driver in the nascent digital science industry. They have been  helping new ideas emerge and develop through networking events and their Catalyst Grant program.

Digital Science is now organizing a Pitchfest on the 14th of July 2015 in Cambidge, MA (USA). The concept? “Five early stage start-ups will each have five minutes to pitch their concept to an audience of peers and Boston based VC’s, with the winner bagging $1,500 in cash.

All early stage start-up focused on software for digitizing any stage of the scientific research process are welcome to apply. And for European startups similar event will soon be organized in London.

10 additions to the list of digital tools for researchers

format-indent-moreJust added a few new tools to the list of digital tools for researchers.

  • DeepDyve – Instant access to the journals you need.
  • Cofactor Science Journal Selector – A journal selector from the editing service Cofactor.
  • Journalysis – A service for academic authors run by academic authors for reviewing experiences with academic journals.
  • Biowebspin – Platform in life science worldwide to networks, work, look up information.
  • CaptoMe – A wealth of knowledge about clinical trials.
  • Research Connection – A searchable platform for research jobs and information.
  • Trelliscience – A digital platform that connects you to the rest of the scientific community, ran by the AAA.
  • GitLab – A git repository management, code reviews, issue tracking and wiki’s all in one platform.

We have also added a new section to the list: Fundraising/Grantwriting. This will include services that aim to facilitate fundraising, such as these two search engines for research grants.

  • Grant Forward – Search engine for research grants.
  • Pivot COS – A database which includes funding opportunities from all disciplines.


Seven more tools to choose from!

Quick update of the list of digital tools for researchers. Interesting to see that this update includes two startups are offer remotely experimentation using  automated robots. The future is here!

  • TetraScience – Allows you to monitor & manage your experiments from anywhere.
  • Emerald Cloud Lab – A web-based life sciences lab, developed by scientists for scientists.

Two other are tools that scientists are increasingly using to increase their productivity.

  • Asana – Keeps your team organized, connected, and focused on results.
  • Evernote – A place to collect inspirational ideas, write meaningful words, and move your important projects forward.

And a few other in networking, peer-review, journal review, and  citation tools.

  • Piirus – Helps researchers meet potential collaborators, build networks and develop their core research.
  • Journal Review – Rate, and review published medical journal articles.
  • Journal Reviewer – Aggregates information users provide about their experience with academic journals’ review processes.
  • CitationStyles – Find and edit CSL citation styles.

Digital tools for researchers update

noun_29406_ccI’ve added two new tools in the digital tools for researchers list. There are now over 170 tools listed!

I’ve added Biocompare in the Lab and project management section. This an impressive product comparaison platform for life science research.

  • Biocompare – Find products, read reviews and hear about the latest technological developments.

And I’ve added Scientific Protocols  in the Protocol repository section. This platform is part of the reproducibility initiative launched by a consortium of Digital Science startups (Science Exchange, PLOS, Figshare, Mendeley).

As a side note, I’m happy to say that Connected Researchers in seeing an increase traffic over the past few months. This is sign that researchers are in need of information about the digital tools at their disposal. There is much more we can do to guide researchers through this digital revolution. So do not hesitate to step up if you would like to contribute!

Happy new year to all!

(“Increase” logo Created by Rediffusion from the Noun Project)