Science 2.0: Academic Reader

A new website of great interest to those of us punished under the crush of information in science, Academic Reader. Created by (I hope I have this right) Michael Nielsen, Peter Rhode, and Alexei Gilchrist the website is a way to manage your academic reading:

The Academic Reader is a new web site that makes it easier to keep track of your scientific reading. Rather than going to multiple websites every day to keep up, we pull all the sources together in a single location, so you can keep track easily. Sources include the preprint arXiv, the Physical Review, and Nature, and many new sources will be added in the months to come, including sources outside physics.

Good stuff, check it out!
And yes, is still down. The open archive protocol they are using is back up but has been changed in ways that may take a bit to fix is still down. Hopefully I can get the site running again before I drop off the edge of the internet and get married.

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21 Responses to Science 2.0: Academic Reader

  1. NL says:

    Yeah, I’m not sure what the advantage of this over my Bloglines setup is.
    What I really want is for Papers to get more physics-friendly: it’s got the potential to be indispensable.
    I do despair over a way to keep track of papers. My older colleagues when I started grad school all had large file cabinets and a good filing system. I have Bloglines, a large folder of pdf’s, a large pile of printouts, etc. etc. Multiply redundant but inefficient.
    The guys who make Papers are working on making it better. For now it’s useful to organize and sort and view, but you have to enter most paper’s data yourself (because PubMed is incomplete when it comes to even PRL!), and that’s kind of a deal-killer.

  2. A says:

    Academic Reader seems to me, to be completely superfluous, as it duplicates a typical feed reader (like Google Reader) with no additional functionality. This is in contrast to, which provides (or provided) something new (the “scite” index).
    What might be useful, instead, is an extension of the RSS (or other related) standard for collections of academic journal articles which is compatible with BibTeX and/or the information at and based in XML (maybe together with the use of a sensible unicode standard). Now that would be useful!

  3. Ian Durham says:

    Figures as soon as I spout off about you being in Wired I can’t find the reference despite scouring the past four issues (I’m positive you’re in there for and I will find it). On the other hand, I did find this reference to Scirate at Harvard’s Rowland Institute.

  4. Yes, Dave, you must not let Scirate disappear into oblivion, particularly since it has now been mentioned in Wired magazine (I’d link to it, but it’s only in the print edition). You will have millions of disgruntled Wired readers in a tizzy if you do.

  5. Dave Bacon says:

    Really?! That’s crazy.
    Well hopefully arxiv will fix it’s OAI2 system soon!

  6. Yes indeed, Dave, you are now minorly famous. By my count, however (and I’ve only been a subscriber for about two years), you’re the second quantum physicist to be mentioned since Seth Lloyd was interviewed last year. The irony twist is that in the issue (at least I think it was the same issue) in which Scirate was mentioned, another physicist I know was also mentioned (Dave Kaiser from MIT who was mentioned for his semi-regular attendance at a science-related bar in Cambridge). If you cannot find it, let me know and I’ll scan it for you and e-mail it (or perhaps post it to this blog!).

  7. Mohammad says:

    The problem with generic RSS readers such as Google-Reader is that they aren’t acting cleverly with academic RSS feeds.
    For example: One may want to combine several RSS feeds (like publications of 10 authors who are working on same topic) and get them together via RSS reader. Current RSS readers don’t provide such an option and read every RSS feed separately.

  8. Mohammad says:

    I’ve worked on a system to organize papers since 9 months ago and the result is
    I’ve moved all my research papers to it and is really useful.
    We use tags instead of folders (something that is common in most web2.0 applications), let people add their papers quickly (using bibtex or even multiple bibtex entries) all equipped with Ajax/javascript techniques to make it fast.
    CiteULike ( is also another website that many people use for organizing papers.

  9. NL says:

    “Academier subscription is currently by invitation only for a short period of time. Please check us back soon.”

  10. NL says:

    (ie, can I have an invitation??)

  11. Mohammad says:

    Please let me know your email and I will invite you.

  12. feynman's ghost says:

    I would advise Bacon and Nielsen to write software for quantum computing, or at least for physics, instead of silly nonsense like Academic Reader and Scirate. Ian, Scirate is about as important to the programming world as a mosquito turd is to the New York sewer system. You really should get out more, Ian. It’s a sad commentary on quantum computing if someone who writes a lame program like Scirate becomes famous for doing this whereas someone who writes a good physics programs is never mentioned

  13. Dave Bacon says:

    Dude, don’t be such and ass. I don’t come in and shit on your floor do I?

  14. mick says:

    Nicely put Dave.
    feynman’s ghost – I would suggest that you let people work out for themselves how they spend their time. Why on Earth would you bag Dave, Mike, Alexei, and Peter for attempting to provide a potentially useful service to the field? I suggest you get some perspective.

  15. Travis says:

    If you like papers, try BibDesk–it’s very physics-friendly, it’s free, it’s under active development, and is quite stable and mature. It uses .bib files as its native data format, which makes it exceedingly LaTeX-friendly. Unfortunately for Windows/Linux/BSD users, it’s Mac-only.
    I’ve written an AppleScript that will parse the arXiv to generate a .bib file for import into BibDesk (or anything else that reads .bib). I haven’t updated it to handle the new arXiv numbering system, but that shouldn’t be a big problem. If you want a copy of the script, let me know by posting your contact info here.

  16. Michael Nielsen says:

    “A” and “NL” correctly point out that the Academic Reader currently has a lot of overlap with RSS feedreaders.
    This is true at the moment, but we’re adding lots of functionality (a recommendations system, ability to browse and search through older papers, and so on) that will rapidly make this far more useful than a standard RSS reader.
    And, of course, just the basic feedreading capabilities are a nice way to track lots of different journals.
    Thanks for the plug, Dave!

  17. Ian Durham says:

    Feynman’s ghost? Isn’t that heresy? As The Pontiff you should have this person excommunicated from the quantum faith.

  18. NQ says:

    BibDesk […]. Unfortunately […] it’s Mac-only
    i would recommend Java-based JabRef as a platform-independent alternative.

  19. Joe Renes says:

    Between Academic Reader, Zotero, and Scirate I’m all set for Science 2.0. Awesome! Great work guys! (note Zotero now works with arxiv…)

  20. Gastrointestinal Problems : says:

    i actually use polycarbonate based file cabinets because they are much ligther than steel cabinets ::

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