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Developing an Android app to give you one-tap access to all your scientific papers.
Philippe Vachon-Rivard
184 Facebook Friends
Montreal, Quebec
2 Team Members

Zotero Reader Screen


About Zotero Reader

Reading scientific literature is needlessly cumbersome: either you carry around a big stack of printed papers, or manually sync PDFs and annotations across your electronic devices. Reading papers should be as easy as reading a book on an ereader.

There’s already a great app that allows you to collect, organize, cite and share scientific literature: Zotero. It plugs into your web browser and automatically senses content, allowing you to add it to your personal library with a single click.

So we set about to build an app to give you one-tap access to these papers on your Android tablet. We call it Zotero Reader.

The prototype was developed by Patrick Mineault, seasoned web developer and grad student in neuroscience at McGill University. After getting feedback from fellow scientists, he brought in Philippe Vachon-Rivard to turn his prototype into something more. Phil has been a web developer for over 5 years now and will help take this project to the next level by transforming Zotero Reader into a native Android application.

Why make it into an app?

While the Zotero Reader prototype gives you access to your Zotero library, it’s limited by the fact that it runs in the Android browser. A native Android application doesn’t have these limitations, and will offer enhanced functionality:

  • Offline access. Your papers will be available when you're offline: in the subway, in an airplane, at a conference with unreliable Wi-Fi
  • Auto-sync. Updates you make to your library will automatically be downloaded to your tablet, and annotations to PDFs will be automatically uploaded as soon as you're back online.
  • WebDAV support. The app will support WebDAV syncing in addition to Zotero file storage for attachments
  • Add and edit notes.
  • Native interface. Faster loading and browsing, one tap access, integration with other Android apps.

The application will be made available free of charge once it is completed and we’ll even release the code on github.

Where are the funds going?

The funds we’re asking for are going straight into development time, server and third-party API costs as well as Paypal and Indiegogo fees. Our goal is 6,000$. This will give us just enough resources to maintain the server, port the app and develop the new features shown in the previous section.


The prototype is available online at zoteroreader.com for you to try. Give it a shot, love it, then contribute to our campaign - you’ll get a much more powerful version for your Android devices! Remember, the final app will be free - every dollar you put in the campaign will help both you and your fellow scientist keep up with the scientific literature.

And even if you’re broke, you can still help! Just share the link to the prototype and to our campaign.


Find This Campaign On
raised in 1 month
18% funded
No time left
$6,000 CAD goal
Fixed Funding This campaign did not meet its $6,000CAD funding goal by the deadline.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on June 20, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $25CAD
    In-app Acknowledgment

    We will acknowledge you within the app credits and on the web site and you'll get priority support once the app launches.

    20 claimed
  • $250CAD
    Photo Acknowlegment

    We will acknowledge you within the app credits and on the web site with a photo and link and you'll get priority support once the app launches.

    1 claimed
  • $5,000CAD
    You tha boss

    We'll send you a custom android tablet embossed with the Zotero Reader logo, you'll get a full size photo in-app, and you'll get super-duper priority support .

    0 out of 1 claimed
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