Applied Mechanics News

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

CiteULike: Your online library of scientific literature, and more...

CiteULike is an online service to help academics to share, store, and organize the scientific literature. When you see a paper or a book on the web that interests you, you can click one button and have it added to your personal library. CiteULike automatically extracts the citation details (e.g., title, authors, abstract, and DOI). Currently, it supports more than 30 pubishing websites, many of which are of interest of mechanics community, e.g., ScienceDirect, AIP Scitation, Science, Nature, SpringerLink and Amazon.

Searching in your CiteULike library can be very easy. The surnames of all authors in your library are automatically tagged. You can also tag the papers and the books in your library as you like. All these tags appear in a tag cloud. Therefore, locating a paper in your library will be only one or two clicks away. Also, because your library is stored on the web server, you can access it from any computer.

You can also form a group, and integrate every member's own library to a group library. CiteULike also allows everyone to add note on papers or books. By combining the group and the note functions, you can easily form an online journal club among colleagues, collabarators, students, or any group with common interests, no matter how far away from each other.

Programmed by Richard Cameron and generously hosted by the University of Manchester in England, CiteULike is a free service to everyone. You just need to register to use its full functions. It all works within your web browser, no extra software is needed. So give it a try and enjoy.

Note: Nature publishing group also provides a similar service named Connotea. After experimenting both of them, I share the same feeling of many other users: while more attractive at the first sight, Connotea currently offer less flexible functions than CiteULike. I personally vote for CiteULike. You may want to share your experience with CiteULike or Connotea by commenting this entry.

Update on 4 July 2006:

Macroelectronics Journal Club, an online journal club focusing on flexible electronics and running on CiteULike platform, has been launched by See a brief introduction here and detail announcement here.

Update on 14 July 2006:

By default, CiteULike stores links to papers. To get full access of a paper, you often need to locate the paper within the subscription of your institution, instead of its original link. By using a scalable bookmarklet, now localizing the paper links can be only as easy as one click away. See a recent AMN entry for details.


  • Hi,

    I work on Connotea at Nature, and I'd be interested to get some more information about which features you consider CiteULike to be more flexible in.

    We're still actively developing Connotea, so your feedback would help us to improve it.

    You can contanct me on b dot lund at

    Ben Lund

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6/14/2006 2:21 AM  

  • Hi,
    Thank you very much for your comment.
    Here are some aspects I feel CiteULike is doing better:

    1. It supports more publishing websites (30+), including ScienceDirect, AIP Scitation, which are of more interest of the engineering and applied sciences community.

    2. Authors of the papers are also tagged, which might be more useful in some cases, especially when you want to search the work by a specific researcher.

    3. Everyone can add notes to papers and books in the library. You can choose to make your notes private or public. This function may facilitate interactions among users with common interests.

    4. Virtually, you can input any paper manually. This is helpful when some papers of interest are unavailable online.

    5. You can store personal PDF copies of the papers in your library.

    The above aspects are purely drawn from my personal experience, not necessarily valid to all users.
    Meanwhile, I also enjoy some features of Connotea better than CiteULike, such as direct input by DOI, renaming tag, etc. I'm looking forward to a better and ever-improving Connotea.


    By Blogger Teng Li, at 6/14/2006 8:27 AM  

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