Reference Management

Docear – academic literature management software

Docear (“dog-ear”) is an academic literature suite. It integrates everything you need to search, organize and create academic literature into a single application: digital library with support for pdf documents, reference manager, note taking and with mind maps taking a central role. These applications are BibTeX based reference management, mind mapping, and some pdf management capabilities.

Docear works seamlessly with many existing tools like Mendeley, Microsoft Word, and Foxit Reader.

Docear is based on Freeplane, open source mind mapping software, and integrates JabRef, the open source reference manager.

Docear is no longer under active development.

Features include:

  • 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 explicitly.
  • 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.
  • Scripting API.
  • Online backup space.
  • Synchronize your data between different computers.
  • Backup of your data including versioning.

Developer: Joeran Beel, Stefan Langer, Marcel Genzmehr
License: GNU General Public License v2.0


Docear is written in Java. Learn Java with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

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