Life is a game, take it seriously

Organizing Publications Visually: EatPaper

In Paper Talk, Serious Stuffs on January 13, 2013 at 2:44 pm

by Gooly (Li Yang Ku)

I always hoped that there would be a good app to organize the papers I read and show it graphically. I did Google for it but couldn’t find one that fits my need, so I started to build one about a year ago ( I stopped working on it several times for various reasons but now it’s finally functional (not perfect, but enough for now). The website functions a little bit like Pinterest, we both use bookmarklet, a website book mark that executes javascript, to fetch your current webpage. So the following are the typical steps to use EatPaper.

1. Search on Google scholar.

2. Click the bookmark button I made. (You can get the button by clicking “Add a Node” in

3. A dialog pops up and you can store the publication information you found as a node in your graph.

I also made a Chrome extension that has the exact same function.

The website is built using Google App Engine + Google Web Toolkit. If it turns out to be a little bit slow occasionally, please be patient; I have to admit that I don’t have any funding and only pay the minimum amount needed to host the server. Please share it to your friends if you like it. I probably can get more resources if more people use it.

You can leave a message here if you have any opinions, problems or found a bug.

  1. Hi! Really nice work and interesting idea.
    Perhaps I have missed something because I can’t find how to get the “bookmark button” you mention (I already registered as marcosnieto).

    • I’ll make it clearer later, for now click create graph to creat a graph first, then click add node on the left side bar. Thanks for trying!!

  2. Hi! Stumbled across your blog recently while working on a project regarding SURF in matlab, and a regular reader now :)

    Will try out EatPaper (lol@name) , but atm, im using quiqqa ( for organizing my local paper database.. not exactly a visual link library, but definitely gets the job done.

    • Cool, Thanks for trying. EatPaper doesn’t store the papers you download though. I hope it could, but I don’t plan to implement that myself. Currently it’s just for showing papers graphically.

  3. Hi, very interesting piece of work. I am using the Chrome extension and it works great.
    Is there a way not to show in the list the graphs I haven’t created myself?

    • You mean the drop down box on the main webpage right? Currently your own graphs will appear on top. I can add an option so that only your own graphs appear. Just curious, is there any specific reason you prefer to just have your own graphs in the list? Thanks!

      • I am going to lecture a bunch of health professionals about new awailable softwares that may be useful for research plus some apps, extension and software handy to do research and brainstorming for their projects/studies etc. Yours is on my list: I stumbled upon it when researching for something different and novel to tickle my pupils’ minds.
        I just thought: it would be “clearer” and neater if one had his own graphs at hand. It would feel as more customized, maybe? Or maybe is just lazyness to scrolling down the box?

        I do like to check other graphs and other people’s stuff, So the option to flag on or off the others would be a nice add.
        Thanks again for your work and if there is a way to support it, please do not hesitate to redirect me there..

    • Great! Thanks for sharing my website to others :) Sometimes I really need some motivation. I just updated the website and added the check box you suggested and another new feature in the popup box. Note that it might take a little bit longer to load the first time after the update. Please let your audience know that they can also request for other features if needed. Thanks!

  4. […] Note that the papers I listed here are just the ones that came up to my mind, let me know if I missed any important publications; I would be happy to make the list more complete. Also check out the website I made for organizing papers visually. […]

  5. I appreciate, lead to I discovered exactly what I was looking for.

    You’ve ended my four day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day.

  6. Gooly are you still maintaining this cool website? I wish we could have something like this:

    I have bunch of relevant papers. I put them into your website. And then the program can generate the links between the papers automatically by citation, i.e., A cited B, then A->B. On that link maybe some words in A that describing how A mentioned about B.

    Further the node would be colored by authors. Different color for different authors. One node having 3-4 colors should be ok to put on.

    Chronicle order should be clear when sorting the graph hierarchically, say click one button then the graph will return to Chronicle order.

    It will be extremely helpful when writing the introduction of any particular works. If possible maybe an automatic latex introduction/citation generator would be wonderful:p


    • I am still maintaining the website but some of the features you mentioned has technical difficulties. I did thought about automating the reference links but that requires Google Scholar to provide an API for me to query. Currently I hacked it a little bit by parsing the Google scholar web page, but getting the right citation is not doable. But thanks for the suggestion, I might work on assigning author node with the same color in the future.

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