|Developer(s)||Joeran Beel, Stefan Langer, Marcel Genzmehr|
|Stable release||1.0 Beta 8  / January 15, 2013|
|Type||Mind Mapping, Reference management software, Bibliography manager|
Docear is what the developers call an “academic literature suite”. 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. User feedback so far has been highly positive.
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 the same way as “dog-ear”, the folded down corner of a paper page. Second, “docear” in Latin means “I would be taught”.
Docear was originally created under the name SciPlore MindMapping (aka FreeMind Scholar) 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 to further 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.
Docear has two key features, other tools don't offer. 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.
The features in detail:
- 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 your existing reference manager (JabRef, Zotero, Mendeley, …)
- Full control over your data: No registration required and no data is stored on our servers except you allow it explictely
- 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 your data between different computers*
- Backup of your data including versioning*
- Read (and partly edit) your data on Android and iOS devices*
* Not yet implemented, or in combination with third party applications
See also 
- Download « Docear
- Joeran Beel, Bela Gipp, Stefan Langer, Marcel Genzmehr (2011). "Docear: an academic literature suite for searching, organizing and creating academic literature". Proceedings of the 11th annual international ACM/IEEE joint conference on Digital libraries (JCDL 2011). ACM.
- "First public version of Docear released (1.0 Beta 1)". 2012.
- "Docear on Sourceforge". 2012.
- "User Ratings on CHIP, one of Germany's largest download portals". 2012.
- "User Ratings on Heise, Germany's most popular IT magazine". 2012.
- "The Latin Dictonary". Docere Translation.
- Data and Knowledge Engineering Group (2011). "Six new staff members in DKE working group".
- CeBIT (2012). "Docear - The Academic Literature Suite (CeBIT Homepage)".
- Daniel Wessel (2012). "Docear — Literature Management and Writing with Mind Maps". Organizing Creativity Blog.
- Farrand, P. and Hussain, F. and Hennessy, E. (2002). "The efficacy of themind map'study technique". Medical Education Journal. ACM.
- Details & Features « Docear