May 16, 2013

Authorea – Collaboration for Scholars

Google Drive makes it possible for people to collaborate on documents, but it doesn’t offer the kind of reference support and data tables that most scholars need for academic purposes. Enter Authorea. The scholastic collaboration platform makes it possible for people to create research papers and other educational documents from right inside their browser windows.

Make life easier for your research team by creating an Authorea account and getting to work writing articles collaboratively. Select how open you want your document to be, choosing the specific collaborators who should have access to your project. Authorea lets you drag and drop various elements (like data plots and images) directly into your report. You can also write LaTeX or Markdown notation, as a way to get important equations and data tables into your articles. Authorea tracks all previous versions of your document (as well as the various elements embedded within it), and uses a newsfeed-like system to let you return to previous versions at any time. You can even undo specific mistakes that were added during the editing process, without reverting back to an older version in its entirety.

When you’re not collaborating with classmates and colleagues, you can use the Authorea platform to save your own academic files. Authorea servers as a cloud-based storage solution, letting you access all the underlying research in your documents (like references, data, and images) from any computer with an Internet connection.

Practical Uses:

  • Work on a research paper with classmates
  • Add data plots and images to your scholarly article
  • Undo an error that was added to your document, without reverting back to a previous version
  • Access a journal article you’ve written from someone else’s computer

Insider Tips:

  • Authorea supports both Markdown and LaTeX notations
  • Users can drag and drop images into their files
  • Users can create an unlimited number of public “open science” articles for free
  • Authorea offers software licenses for institutional research groups and labs

What we liked:

  • Authorea streamlines the process of creating research documents for professors and other academics
  • Authorea lets people collaborate on group projects
  • Users can quickly take out errors that have been added during the editing process
  • Academics can easily add citations to their articles

What we didn’t like:

  • Authorea would be more useful if it included templates for people to use when creating their academic reports


Company Info:

  • Launched: 2013
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Founded by: Alberto Pepe and Nathan Jenkins
  • Web site:


  • Free plan
  • Mini plan is $5/month
  • Medium plan is $10/month
  • Large plan is $25/month


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