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Docear logo.png
Developer(s) Joeran Beel, Stefan Langer, Marcel Genzmehr, Bela Gipp
Stable release 1.2 [1] / December 2, 2015 (2015-12-02)
Operating system Cross-platform
Platform Java
Type Mind Mapping, Reference management software, Bibliography manager
License GNU GPL
Website www.docear.org

Docear is what the developers call an “academic literature suite”.[2] Comparable to Microsoft Office, which bundles several applications for office workers, Docear bundles several applications for academics. As of now, these applications are BibTeX based reference management, mind mapping, and some pdf management capabilities. For the future, Docear is supposed to integrate a word processor, PDF editor and academic search engine.[3]

Docear is written in Java, licensed under the GNU General Public License and based on the open source software Freeplane and JabRef. The term ‘Docear’ has two meanings. First, it is pronounced similarly to “dog ear”, the folded down corner of a paper page. Second, “docear” in Latin means “I would be taught”.[4]


Docear is the successor of SciPlore MindMapping (aka FreeMind Scholar) which was originally developed by Joeran Beel and Bela Gipp as part of their PhD projects in 2009 at Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg and University of California, Berkeley. In July 2011, Joeran Beel and his colleagues Stefan Langer and Marcel Genzmehr received a grant[5] to re-develop SciPlore MindMapping, since then being called Docear. While SciPlore MindMapping was based on FreeMind, Docear is built upon the mind mapping software Freeplane and the reference manager JabRef. The first version of SciPlore MindMapping was released in May 2009. The first private Alpha of Docear was released in December 2011, the first public Beta in February 2012 which was later presented on CeBIT.[6]


Docear has two key features not always offered by comparable tools.[7] First, Docear lets you import PDF annotations (bookmarks, comments and highlighted text). This way, a document’s most important information can be easily organized. If more information is required than the bookmark or comment itself provides, Docear can open the PDF on the page the bookmarks points to. Second, all information is structured in a mind map. Information management in a mind map is more effective and efficient than using a simple list or social tags.[8]

The features in detail:[9]

  • Integration of all major components required for literature search, organization, and creation into a single application
    • Academic search engine / digital library with free full-text access*
    • Research paper recommender system*
    • Reference manager
    • PDF reader*
    • Information manager (Mind mapper)
    • MS Word, OpenOffice/LibreOffice, and LaTeX add-on*
  • Import and managing of PDF annotations
    • PDF bookmarks
    • PDF comments
    • Highlighted text (with limitations)
  • Structured information management in a mind map instead of simple tables or social tags
  • Using standard formats wherever possible (FreeMind/Freeplane XML, BibTeX, Adobe PDF)
  • Usable instead or as a complement to existing reference managers like JabRef, Zotero, or Mendeley,
  • Full control over your data: No registration required and no data is stored on our servers except you allow it explicitly
  • Free and open source
  • PDF Metadata extraction
  • Optional storing of Metadata directly in PDF files (XMP Metadata)
  • Monitoring for new files
  • Full reference management capabilities due to complete integration of JabRef
  • Full mind mapping capabilities since Docear is developed as add-on for the mind mapping tool Freeplane
  • Platform independent (runs on Windows, Linux and MacOS)
  • Online backup space
  • Synchronization of all data between different computers*
  • Backup of data including versioning*
  • Read (and partly edit) data on Android and iOS devices*

* Not yet implemented, or in combination with third party applications

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Beel, Joeran (2 December 2015). "Docear 1.2 Stable: PDF Metadata Improvements & Faster Monitoring". Docear.org. Retrieved 21 Feb 2016. 
  2. ^ Joeran Beel, Bela Gipp, Stefan Langer, Marcel Genzmehr (2011). "Proceedings of the 11th annual international ACM/IEEE joint conference on Digital libraries (JCDL 2011)". ACM.  |contribution= ignored (help)
  3. ^ . 2012.  Missing or empty |title= (help); |contribution= ignored (help)
  4. ^ "Docere Translation".  |contribution= ignored (help)
  5. ^ Data and Knowledge Engineering Group (2011).  Missing or empty |title= (help); |contribution= ignored (help)
  6. ^ CeBIT (2012).  Missing or empty |title= (help); |contribution= ignored (help)
  7. ^ Daniel Wessel (2012). "Organizing Creativity Blog".  |contribution= ignored (help)
  8. ^ Farrand, P. and Hussain, F. and Hennessy, E. (2002). "Medical Education Journal". Med Educ (ACM) 36: 426–31. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2923.2002.01205.x. PMID 12028392.  |contribution= ignored (help)
  9. ^ Details & Features « Docear

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Docear — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

6 news items


Tue, 02 Feb 2016 02:07:30 -0800

Mit dem kostenlosen Docear verwalten Sie wissenschaftliche Literatur in sogenannten Mind-Maps und halten außerdem Notizen sowie Ideen in diesen fest und ordnen sie übersichtlich an. Damit richtet sich die quelloffene Software vor allem an Studenten ...

PC Magazine

PC Magazine
Thu, 03 Mar 2016 08:43:36 -0800

Interested readers might consider RefDB, BibDesk, or the Docear suite. I chose selections I have tested—or even reviewed—and that I believe will well-serve researchers. I encourage readers to use the comments thread to suggest alternatives and to ...


Mon, 02 Nov 2015 06:56:22 -0800

Elisabeth Bilar • 2016-02-03 10:52 PM. A colleague of my husband recommended Docear http://www.docear.org/ "Docear is a unique solution to academic literature management, i.e. it helps you organizing, creating, and discovering academic literature.

PC Magazine

PC Magazine
Fri, 22 Feb 2013 08:44:45 -0800

I am one of the founders of Docear, which is a new software for organizing, creating, and discovering academic literature. Today, we released version 1.0 of Docear after a ~2 year beta phase. If you are interested in reference management, you might ...


Wed, 16 Oct 2013 07:36:58 -0700

Für die jenigen die mit Mendeley oder Papers nicht zufrieden sind: vielleicht ist unser Tool Docear ja was für euch? Wir haben heute ebendfalls ein Major release veröffentlicht (1.0) und bisher hat noch niemand Probleme gemeldet ;-). Was das Besondere ...


Tue, 27 Aug 2013 13:58:27 -0700

Auf den Vollbild-Modus von OS X ist Apple stolz und die meisten Anwendungen zeigen in der oberen rechten Fensterecke den Doppelpfeil zum Wechsel in diesen Modus an. Mit einer kleinen Systemerweiterung lassen sich auch die übrigen Apps ...

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