I have started a brand new research from start of the year. I would like to know what are the easiest way of keeping track of the academic papers, journals and authors.

I use sites like Google Scholar, informatik.uni-trier.de for discovery of articles and following interesting conferences and people. I have used sites and tools like Mendeley and ResearchGate. I quite like the sites, but I am too reluctant to use them as for each of them I need to find everything by myself, create my own library to suit my interests.

I already got a warning by the stackexchange system saying The question you're asking appears subjective and is likely to be closed. but it would be great help if someone could explain some tools/software which do this?

Summarizing my questions:

  1. How do you keep track of academic papers, authors effectively?
  2. Are there any tools that can search/scrap the internet by some keywords/name and keep track of them? [I know of Google alerts, what I seek is some kind of tool with a management interface]

1 Answer 1


Although you are aware of this already, I feel I need to state how satisfied I am with mostly using google scholar + a feed reader + a bibliography manager for this. Although it is not integrated, I don't currently feel any need to search for a better all in one platform.

I use google reader to subscribe to RSS feeds for online first and published articles for journals I am interested in (any reader which you can organize feeds into folders and search should be fine - I suspect many have better search capabilities that google reader). The vast majority of journals this is not much of a time suck to read all the titles and peruse abstracts I am interested in. The most prodiguous publications (e.g. Science/Nature) are only borderline annoying with 60+ posts a week, but even that is not that difficult to quickly navigate through.

I have a few fairly specific google scholar alerts (as well as general google alerts), so as to not get too much in my inbox. I basically have a few key words in articles specific to my research interest, and I have alerts for specific authors. I also have alerts to people who cite my articles.

I use CiteULike to manage my bibliography + personal database on my local machine to export various formats (e.g. bibtex or specific citation format). This has the added benefit that I can send articles directly from google reader to citeulike, but I suspect the same set-up could be crafted for other bibliography managers (Zotero, Mendeley) and possible other feed readers.

Basically in a nut-shell,

  1. feed reader to stay up to date with newly published articles in journals I am interested in,
  2. google scholar alerts for potentially related material that isn't in those journals, and
  3. a bibliography manager to store articles to read later on.
  • Could you maybe link the RSS URLs for Nature and Science which directly lead to the latest articles? I have trouble finding them.
    – Eekhoorn
    Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 17:45
  • Added links as requested @zenbomb, they are a certainly a bit annoying to find. If you use google reader you can search for feeds, and using Google Chrome I have an RSS feed extension in the address bar that is available for the Science website. Nature has a ton of separate feeds, that I just happened to find by seeing a link to at the bottom of the home page at nature.com.
    – Andy W
    Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 17:58
  • Google Reader has discontinued. What do you use as a replacement? Commented Sep 18, 2014 at 10:00
  • 1
    @AlexeyPopkov - I use Digg reader now and I am quite happy with it.
    – Andy W
    Commented Sep 18, 2014 at 12:05

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