SciFlow: the collaborative writing tool


SciFlow is a web platform for the joint writing of scientific (and other) texts. The Berlin startup securely hosts its servers in Germany. The GDPR conformity distinguishes SciFlow from international competitors such as Authorea or GoogleDocs (those both are not compliant to DSGVO).

The HZI is a participant in an HGF consortium with SciFlow and thus offers extended support and training. SciFlow is aimed at anyone who wants to work on a document with several people, but primarily at scientists. These can automatically format the text for the intended journal using templates, and their own reference management systems can be integrated. Furthermore, reports, meeting notes and data management plans can also be created with SciFlow.

The already existing templates can be found in SciFlow-portal for HZI: https://sciflow.net/hzi

(More general scientific templates for scientific reports, grant applications etc. will soon be available in the SciFlow(HZI) portal in a separate section, currently there are some general templates in the section "Haus- und Abschlussarbeiten/”(term papers and theses) and the templates Meeting minutes (de, en), report (de), Data management plan (Horizon 2020, DFG, BMBF)

Get to know SciFlow in this SciFlow-webinars:

Demo (©OVGU): SciFlow- kollaboratives Wissenschaftl. Arbeiten / SciFlow-connecting scientific writers


SciFlow features:

PS: Similar tools like Authorea or Overleaf are much more expensive as institutional version and come from the Anglo-American area, so they are not DSGVO-compliant. The FZ Jülich looked at all 3 tools and came to the conclusion that only SciFlow is DSGVO-compliant and thus institutionally licensable.

  • Online text editor (similar to GoogleDocs, but DSGVO compliant and secure) with image, formula and citation integration
  • Cooperation with any number of authors (also outside the institution) possible
  • Formatting and export via templates at the end of the writing process for texts formatted ready for submission (to include comments into the export enter "comments" in the template search)
  • references of different literature management tools Zotero, Mendeley, Citavi is in work, EndNote etc. can be added automatically - PLUS: authors and co-authors can also add literature libraries/ references of different reference management tools and therefore do not need to commit to a specific reference management tool anymore)
  • since last update correction mode/ suggestion feature available (all suggestions are archived in document's history even when a newer version is created)
  • change tracking (of further edits) is also available
  • Since the use of the basic system is free of charge for everyone, you can also work and write with colleagues outside the HGF without any problems.
  • The servers are located in Germany (DSGVO compliant); SciFlow is a start-up from Magdeburg.
  • Still missing journal templates will be created free of charge for licensing institutes (after checking the Journal-list in SciFlow(HZI)-Portal via Button „request a template “) within 2-3 weeks, without a license agreement only via individual invoice fee.

(last update: 5. Jul. 2022)