Are you writing an article, a book, working on an advanced degree, or activities that require you to do a lot of research? In your research have you amassed thousands of documents that you must wade through to find information to present? Are you trying to curate a library of documents for your professional library?

If you are like most of us, you still keep paper files in a binder or drawer and in electronic file folders that basically a mirror image the traditional paper files. Is there a better way to keep track of all this material?

We’ve heard it said that “If you can’t find it, it doesn’t exists!”. It may be the best of articles or information, but if it’s nowhere to be found, then it is just air.

We have been researching and working to complete our new book, “Safety Culture – An Innovated Leadership Approach.” As part of the research over the last year, we have accumulated more than 2,000 documents as well as various other reference materials that we are currently sorting through. It has been a real task trying to find the best quotes, comments and information that can be used that add value and support our discussion points. This has been a big chore for us! Can you even image trying to read, comprehend and document sources from all of these documents for proper reference?


If you are in this type of situation, then we have a solution for you. We have found what appears to be the solution in “Docear.” “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.”(

The entire “academic literature suite” is FREE to use and is considered open source. The Docear Wiki Page describes , “Docear was originally created under the name SciPloreMindMapping(aka FreeMind Scholar) by Joeran Beel and Bela Gipp as part of their PhD projects in 2009 at Otto-von-GuerickeUniversityMagdeburgand UniversityofCalifornia, Berkeley.”

We have found Docear useful in the following areas:

  • Develops mind maps that provide a structure for your materials
  • Allows you to develop an outline in a mind map to organize your thoughts and provide links to your documents
  • Allows you to launch into your documents from the mind map
  • The suite provides a method to insert your references into a MS Word document that adds bibliography to the documents.
  • Allows you to quickly reorder your thoughts by quickly changing the mind map.