Best Cloud-based Tools for Authors/ Scientific Content Writers

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When it was for the first time I prepapred a conference paper for publishing purpose, I had to learn about Latex for documentation purpose. It is an excellent tool for organizing a paper and almost every conference or journal has it’s own template for Latex. Then I had to learn Microsoft Visio using which I had drawn all the diagrams. Graph is another important part of a paper which you might need to present the evaluation of the proposed methodologies, to refer to a comparison with existing systems or system performance after running a particular algorithms.

Usually we use desktop tools installed in our PC to fulfill these needs. But, it seems to be a problem when you have more than one workplaces what we all have. I work both at my home and at my office. It is quite inconvenient to carry the files in pendrive and edit where I am right now. Keeping and sharing files via Google Drive is an option thereby, but still it requires installing the same softwares both at my home and office computers. In this case, it will feel a lt more comfortable with working online with cloud-based tools.

Why Cloud-based tools

Why not? Cloud-based tools provide you an online platform with a minimum amount of stoarage for free. The most convenient thing is, you can edit your files from anywhere. Your machines won’t require installing heavy softwares within these. As we are having the platforms and softwares as a service, a simple machine with simple configuration is enough to work with. All you need is just the Internet and a standard web browser. Another advantage is the existing option of sharing files; anyone with edit permission can collaborate to your projects and guide thereby. In a word, online tools are a place of working environment with accessibility from anywhere.

Cloud-based tools for authors/Scientific content writers

Tools for writing initial idea

Maybe an idea crossed your mind while you are on public transport and you have no pen-paper with you. No worry, you can just write your idea on EverNote or Google Keep instantly and will be able to find your note lately in online from any other machine. Some preferable alternatives are Quip, DropBox Paper, Nimbus Note, Simple Note etc and many more tools are available online.

Online Latex editor and compiler

TexMaker and TexStudio are the most popular among desktop tools for using Latex. Among cloud tools, Overleaf and ShareLatex are widely used by everyone. They have a collection of almost all the templates used for submitting an article or conference paper. Additionally, you can have collaborators of your paper if you share the read & edit link with co-authors. There is no worrying about installing packages one after another in your PC.

Tools for drawing flowchart/other diagrams

In this case, while drawing a figure for a paper, LucidChart is my personal favorite. However, all of the available online tools for drawing diagrams are good; it’s hard enough for me to distinguish a better one. Other preferable tools are- Draw.IO, Creately, Giffy, DrawAnyWhere etc. Some of them require an account to create diagrams, some don’t. You can check all of them and prefer a suitable one for you.

Tools for creating charts/graphs

There are numerous online chart creating tools. Although researchers use MatLab or Python to create charts right after working on a set of data. But, online tools provide far more better looking visualization of data. Also customizing the charts/graphs are only a few clicks away here. Therefore no need to waste time modifying codes again and again to achieve expected visualization of data. charte.ca and Plot.ly are the most popular in the list. Between these two, charte.ca is my personal favorite. But other tools are comparatively almost same in features and provide easy to use UIs. Some other popular tools are OnlineChartTools, Visme and ChartBlock etc.

Tools for generating table

Sometimes generating a table in latex requires a lot of hassles. In this case, I found an excellent tool using which it will take only a couple of minutes generating a table in latex with code. Here comes tablesgenerator. All you need to do is create table using the MS Word like options and you will find your required code thereby just clicking on the button generate. Also, don’t forget to add the package named multirow if not added already in your latex template.

Tools for organizing literature documents and references

I want to recommend using only Mendeley for this purpose. It is free to use and has a desktop version as well. You can create folders here and keep documents there. All the necessary information is collected by itself from online. It’s easy to create notes, tags as well as to organize according to author names, journals, years etc. It also provides an easier reference management system. In a word it’s almost all in one. You might have heard the names of Zotero, Qiqqa and Docear; they are quite good as Mendeley is but don’t provide online storage service.

These cloud-based tools are on my list to help myself to carry on researches. Do you have any more in mind, please suggest in the comment section.

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