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Digital Apps for Researchers

JISC has rounded up some of the most useful social networking apps and free online digital tools for researchers,


Call any other Skype user anywhere in the world for free. Then there are video calls, conference calls and instant messaging. Add on call recording software (Pamela for PCs or Call Recorder for Macs) and it becomes a simple way to record research interviews undertaken over the phone for transcribing and archiving.

Good for: free team conference calls and saving data from voice and video calls


Delicious is a social bookmarking service that allows you to tag, save, manage and share web pages all from one place. You can access your bookmarks from any networked device, anywhere. Its attraction and power lies in community and sharing. Discover what other people have bookmarked in your area of interest, and browse the bookmarked pages of other researchers in your field.

Good for: accessing bookmarks on the move and serendipitous webpage discoveries


Mendeley allows you to organise, discover and share your papers and experiences. It’s a searchable database of your research, along with a bibliography-generating tool. The excitement around Mendeley – 100,000 users in just over 18 months – stems from its social networking aspect. As well as managing your papers online, Mendeley can also put you in touch with other researchers with the same interests, show you the papers they are viewing and let you know what’s a hot topic.

Good for: organising large quantities of PDFs, especially for science researchers


Another international, professional network for scientists, ResearchGate was only launched two years ago but already has over 250,000 members from more than 200 countries. It stands out for its ease of use, clear navigation and use of subcommunities within the site dedicated to research specialities. Users can join or create groups of interest, search abstracts, find colleagues doing similar work and use collaboration tools. The site’s creators are particularly interested in promoting connections between scientists in rich and developing nations.

Good for: connecting with other scientists worldwide for collaborative research