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Overleaf: Scientific Writing and Publishing in the Age of the Cloud
John D Lees-Miller

Last modified: 2015-05-07


The 'web was invented by scientists, but scientific writing and publishing somehow got stuck at Web 1.0. Even though science is by nature global and collaborative, we still write papers mainly using single-user tools that run on desktop computers (Word). We then send our files through a slow, frustrating and expensive publishing process that runs on email and clunky, fiddly web forms. Meanwhile, the rest of the world races ahead with modern, integrated, collaborative tools. We can do better.

Overleaf is an online collaborative editor for writing scientific documents, such as papers and theses. It simplifies and accelerates the scientific writing and publishing process by keeping the document in a single central place through its entire lifecycle. The document is stored securely in the cloud, so authors, editors, reviewers and readers can each read, edit or comment on the paper when it is their turn, using only a web browser. Overleaf supports tracked changes, comments, version control and several popular reference managers, and you can now submit directly from Overleaf to over a dozen publishing partners, including PeerJ, Nature Scientific Reports, and F1000Research. More than 200,000 authors from over 2,000 universities across the globe have created in excess of two million documents with Overleaf, and Stanford University libraries has launched an institution-wide Overleaf trial for 2015. Overleaf is bringing the scientific writing and publishing process into the cloud, where it can be made easier, faster and more open.


Collaborative Writing; Scholarly Publishing; Cloud; Technology

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