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Do you keep a list of all papers you have read? Are there any good tools for that? and do they allow people to publish what they have recently read?

The tool I'm envisioning would allow people to follow each-others readings. I find it hard to determine which new papers are worth my time, and one of the greatest benefits of having a wonderful advisor was to get recommendations of which work to follow and which wasn't all that important.

So, are there any tools that sufficiently many people (incl. professors) use to record and publish what they read? Or am I the only one who would find that useful?

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    As a grad student, I would put all my papers in three-ring binders. I also kept a spreadsheet where I would track author, title, abstract (or brief summary), and an index number (corresponding to which binder I had put the paper in). It was a nice way for me to track not only what I had read, but where to find it later. I'm posting this as a comment because there might be better and more collaborative tools available now, but it still might be a helpful idea. – J.R. Feb 1 '14 at 4:37
  • Are you thinking about creating a new mobile application for that? I think it wouldn't be popular! Besides no one is interested or have time to pay attention to who reads what. – user4511 Feb 1 '14 at 6:28
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    Some of the online bibliographies have basically this capability (CiteULike & Mendeley) to follow people and get recommendations. – Andy W Feb 1 '14 at 13:43
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Yes, there are several products to do this.

There's CiteULike, which is completely web-based, has good support, allows you to share your library, see who has read which papers, which papers are trending in the last seven days, and has a good recommendation system.

I hate to say this, because I've always had good support from them, but its functionality doesn't really extend beyond that, and that's a problem: I was really enthusiastic about it, but I notice that I've barely used it in the last 14 months.


There's the Elsevier-owned Mendeley, where you can add people as contacts, and share what you own. Recommendations are also provided anonymously, based on overlaps between your library and other people's. It has a desktop application, which I have used, and a website, which I very rarely use.


There's zotero, which does allow you to share your bibliography with others, and to see who is sharing what. I found that it also insisted on duplicating all the pdfs on my local drive too, which meant I quickly uninstalled it.

And there's EndNote Web, which might allow libraries to be shared publicly, but I found the interface frustratingly unusable, so couldn't say either way.


In short, there are several applications which allow you to share the metadata of the papers you read, on the web. However, the user experience, ergonomics and functionality is patchy.

  • Mendeley is nearly useless now on high-DPI displays and I haven't seen any signs that they're fixing it. I used to really like it though – CloudyGloudy Jun 11 '17 at 17:05

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