Supporting Efficiency in Student Workflows: Paperpile at EDUCAUSE16

Last month found team Paperpile (or ¼ of it) at the “Startup Alley” section of EDUCAUSE16. We were surrounded by some very cool companies, both big and small, that were brought together with a goal of improving higher education through technology. From learning analytics platforms to identity management applications, we were in most excellent company.

But truth be told, Paperpile was something of the “odd man out”. That is to say, there weren’t any other reference managers or similar software to be found in the 400+ vendor list. Perhaps this is because reference management isn’t a particularly glamorous technology application… but that does’t matter much. It is still a vital one.

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Back-to-School Productivity Habits (Are Not Just for Students)

Dilbert productivity

Ahh, back-to-school. The birds are chirping, the bees are buzzing… oops, that’s springtime. But the two have quite a lot in common. They’re a time for a refresh and a reset. Regardless of where you fall in academia (student, post doc, adjunct, professor), the ubiquitous back-to-school mindset offers a great opportunity to reflect on what you want out of the upcoming year. In turn, an assessment of current productivity habits seems prudent.
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6 Tips for Writing Your Thesis in Google Docs

The birds are singing, the bees are buzzing, which means it’s officially spring time. This is good news for just about everyone… except those with a looming thesis deadline.

If you’re pursuing a Bachelors, Masters, or PhD, you’re either feeling very good or very not-so-good right about now. For some of you, no words have yet made it onto the page. That’s okay! We’re not here to judge. We’re here to help.

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Google Drive for Researchers: 3 Perspectives from the Paperpile Team


We saved the last spot in our research productivity series for Google Drive. We found it’s harder to generate the enthusiasm about Google Drive for researchers than for the other apps we covered. This is because it forms the basic infrastructure of our cloud workflow. Yes, like any other basic infrastructure, things would break down without it, but who actually thinks much about infrastructure? Andreas, Isabel and Stefan in our team decided to do just that and here’s why we love Google Drive.

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6 Ways to Streamline Communication in Your Research Group Using Slack

Slack - channels not emails

When it first hit the scene back in 2012, Slack took the business world by storm as the fastest growing enterprise app ever. What made it so irresistible? In a nutshell: it’s real-time chat that integrates with all of your channels, making it a verifiable communication hub. The companies that adopt it claim it’s completely transformed their workflow and nearly eliminated email.

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Trello for Researchers: 3 Powerful Use Cases

Whenever people would ask me what I do for a living and I answered “I’m a biologist,” I always had the impression they had no idea what that actually meant. People assume you sit in the grass observing ants or read books in a quiet library all day.

The reality is quite different. Chances are you work on several projects at the same time, collaborate with people around the world, write papers and grant applications, and spend your days in meetings, giving presentations, or even managing a whole lab. Being a scientist is not different from any other highly demanding job that requires one to be productive and organized. Many software products have arisen to help fulfill this need, so there’s no shortage of project management, productivity and collaboration tools available.

However, it’s interesting to see that scientists rarely make use of these tools. Adapting your workflow to fit with some complicated piece of software is just too tedious. Even worse, convincing all your collaborators to change their workflows seems impossible. In the end, the technology of choice is e-mail, with endless conversations and documents being sent back and forth.

Trello is a refreshingly different tool. It’s flexible enough to do exactly what you want, and yet so simple that all of your collaborators will easily learn to use it well. It’s mainly used by businesses and software developers, but Trello works great for researchers too. Here are 3 Trello uses you shouldn’t miss: it can help you organize your next workshop, hire your next lab member and get your next collaborative project done on time.

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Research Productivity: How Business Apps Make the Best Tools for Researchers

Business apps that make researchers more productive

Our goal here at Paperpile is to increase productivity of researchers. We build software that makes it easier to organize and write academic papers.

We’ve often wondered what else we can do to help researchers work smarter and be more productive. The answer, we found, is surprisingly simple. It’s all about choosing the right tools. So today, we’re launching a 5-part blog post series introducing a hand-picked selection of productivity tools that all researchers need to know.

Chances are you already know some of these tools. Chances are also that you know somebody who knows none of them… So please share and help spread the word.

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Google Docs in the University: a Q&A with students from UCC Hillerød, Denmark

Students editing collaboratively a Google Doc

Mathias, Morgan, Francis, and Stasa collaborated on their thesis project using Google Docs and Paperpile.

Soon after our launch in October 2013 we were contacted by a group of students from UCC Hillerød, Denmark about using Paperpile to write their final thesis project in Google Docs. Since they would only be using Paperpile for a few months, we created a special short-term group license for them and left them to their work.

A few months later we noticed a sudden spike in usage from Denmark, with a few users furiously adding citations and formatting their documents late into the night for days on end. Immediately we knew: our plucky group of students were wrapping up their thesis, using Google Docs and Paperpile to get things ready to print before the Christmas holidays!

We recently caught up with Mathias, Stasa, Morgan and Francis to congratulate them on their successful project and ask a few questions about their experience writing a group project with Paperpile.

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