Authorea Is Live!

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a new authoring tool for scientists called Authorea.   At that time, Authorea was still in an early stage of development and not available to the public … but no longer!   It’s now available for anyone to create an account to test out (note that while some features of Authorea are of particular interest to scientists, many would be extremely useful to scholarly authors in other disciplines — e.g., robust support for collaborative authoring; support for images, data and code).  In keeping with its ‘open science’ vision, an account holder can have an unlimited number of ‘public’ articles while ‘private’ articles are limited (at least on the free version).

Read the announcement below about Authorea’s key features:

Web-native articles: write your articles on the the web, ready for the web! No need to compile LaTeX into a PDF file anymore. Render your LaTeX or Markdown articles right into your browser, in HTML5.

Concurrent collaboration, the easy way: got many collaborators? Not a problem. Manage your collaboration in a safe and tidy way. Lock article elements while you are working on them. And keep track of who is working on other parts of your article.

Robust version control: every Authorea article sits on a Git repository and has a newsfeed where you can keep track of all the changes made by you and your collaborators. If you made a mistake a while back, you can undo that specific change, rather than clicking undo hundreds of times!

An editor for scientific content: Authorea natively supports LaTeX and Markdown tables, LaTeX and MathML equations, and BibTeX references. Everything renders to HTML5.

Include images, data, and code: adding an image to an Authorea article is as easy as drag and drop. Every image sits in a folder which hosts related data and code.

What’s coming next?

Rich images: we are working hard to implement “executable figures”: figures which contain not only an image but also all the underlying data and code that were used to produce that image. Soon you will be able to push the plots you produce in RPython matplotlibd3.js, and other tools, from your console to the Authorea paper.

Commenting and annotation: let your peers, coauthors, and the public at large review, comment, and annotate your research articles.

LaTeX stylesheet support: so that you can export your articles to a format ready for submission to a journal.


An interesting new product in the suite of tools available for scholarly authors. …

ORCID: Open Researcher and Contributor ID

ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is a not-for-profit, open source, global collaborative initiative to provide unique identification for researchers to make retrieval of papers by authors or cited authors more accurate and efficient. ORCID was formed to “support the creation of a permanent, clear and unambiguous record of research and scholarly communication by enabling reliable attribution of authors and contributors. ”

ORCID solves these problems:

  • Author name confusion in searching for authored and cited works; distinguish among authors with the same names
  • Attribution errors
  • Citation metric errors
  • Lack of persistent identification when people move to other departments or institutions
  • Having to input your publications information multiple times for different purposes, such as grants and annual reports

To take advantage of the opportunities provided by ORCID, register for an ID and fill in the required information. If you already have a Scopus Author ID/Profile,  all the information about your publications from that profile can be imported directly into ORCID.  If you have a ResearcherID  profile, you can add your ORCID identification number to that profile.  You can use your ORCID identification number where you need to list your publications, such as your web pages, grant applications and annual reports.