April 11, 2013. Attendees at the UKSG and Association of College and Research Libraries conferences are getting a look at the next generation of document and reference management as ProQuest demos its new RefWorks Flow, a cloud-based collaboration platform for research materials. Flow was created to provide a better solution for the changing workflow of researchers, who are increasingly working in team environments and want seamless access to full text documents, rather than citations alone.
"Researchers need access to their work wherever they are, and they want to collaborate with others, inside and outside their institution. Flow has been designed from the ground-up to address those needs," said Kurt Sanford, ProQuest CEO. "It takes the bibliographic data management expertise of RefWorks to a whole new level, offering an extraordinarily rich set of tools for researchers in a service that's simple and intuitive for institutions to offer."
Built with user experience as its primary development driver, Flow features an intuitive interface that needs little training to use and simplifies the management of research materials. It enables users, whether they're students or scholars, to organize full text documents and references, keeping them together, accessible and usable for a variety of needs — team collaboration, class reading scenarios, etc. Users can save web page content and metadata, create collections to organize documents and citations, and upload PDF and Office documents. Once saved to the cloud, these documents can be read, highlighted, and annotated on multiple devices. Flow has built-in recognition of documents and citations so users don't have to enter metadata manually.
Flow is also designed to be easy for institutions to use. A cloud-based service, it requires no installation or updates. Flow is compatible with all modern web browsers on computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones.