Frequently Asked Questions

As well as being able to upload files directly to a folder, you can also attach one or more RSS feeds.

When you create a new folder, you’ll see an RSS subscription icon under the Actions column.

Click on that icon, you’ll get a prompt with an option to subscribe to a new feed. If you click on the Subscribe + button, you’ll see a prompt to paste in an RSS feed URL, and then you’ll click the Subscribe button to prepare your feed.

The feed will be checked every hour or so, so your folder may not be populated immediately, but you’ll get an email when the feed is updated. RSS feeds work best if the content in the feed is open access, so we can fetch the full text, rather than just the abstract.

You can click on the RSS icon for a folder at any time to suspend or unsubscribe from the feed, or to check the list of URLs that will be fetched when the feed next runs. You can also attach more than one feed to a folder.

If nothing appears after uploading a document, try refreshing the page by hitting the reload button on your browser.

When you upload a PDF, Word document, or public URL to your Scholarcy Library account, you should see a progress bar and, after around 15 seconds, a new record should appear in your library, showing the title, author, date and other information depending on your settings.

If there’s a problem, you’ll normally see an error message. But if after refreshing the page, nothing appears in your library, or the entry is empty, then there might be a few possible reasons:

  • The PDF file contains no extractable text. We don’t currently support scanned PDFs – if your articles have been scanned to PDF, you’ll need to run it through some OCR software first. In future, we’re aiming to provide this directly in the library.
  • The web URL is behind a paywall. You might be logged into your institutional repository, but Scholarcy can’t see what you see when you read a paper in your browser. If the article is not open-access, try uploading the PDF directly.
  • The file is too large or too complex. Occasionally, some articles cannot be processed as their internal structure cannot be parsed. This can happen with PDFs with many images, or if you try to upload an entire book. For best results, break large files into smaller PDFs. For example, split a book into individual chapters and upload each one separately.

If you are still encountering problems, please send us the PDF so we can take a look.

When you sign up for a subscription, our payment provider Stripe needs to verify that your card is valid. To do this, sometimes they will issue and then automatically reverse either a £0 or £1 authorisation to verify that the card is valid and able to be charged. This authorisation will be reversed within a day or two, and should drop off your statement shortly.

If you close your Scholarcy Library account, you will lose all your data and we will not be able to recover it for you. So it’s best to contact us first if you want a copy of your data before you do this.

You can close and delete your Scholarcy Library account by logging into Scholarcy, going to the Profile menu on the left-hand side, and clicking the Delete account button.

You will be sent an email with a confirmation link. When you click on the link, you’ll be asked to confirm that you wish to delete your account, and on confirmation, your account will be closed and your data deleted.

If you have already unsubscribed from automated emails related to your account, then you will not receive the account deletion confirmation. If this is the case, please contact us.


You can cancel your Scholarcy Library subscription at any time by logging into Scholarcy, going to the Subscription menu on the left-hand side, and clicking the Cancel subscription button.

Your subscription will remain active until the end of the free trial or the next billing period, whichever is the sooner. If you cancel during the free trial period, no charge will be made.

You are welcome to restart your subscription at any time.

For best results, Scholarcy needs access to the full text of the article. If the article is behind a paywall or institutional log in, unfortunately our cloud-based services cannot access it. In this case, it is best to upload the PDF of the article instead. In your browser, open a new tab, click on the Chrome Extension icon, and click the ‘Choose File’ button to navigate to the PDF on your local machine.

Alternatively, you can upload files directly to your Scholarcy Library.

In all cases, the PDF must contain readable text. Currently, we are unable to handle scanned PDFs that are essentially just pages of images, and need to be converted to readable text using OCR software first. However, we hope to have an OCR option available soon.

To extract the references, Scholarcy usually needs access to the full text of the article or chapter, unless the publisher has made the references openly available with the abstract. Otherwise, the article/chapter needs to be open access, or you need to upload the PDF directly, if you have legitimate access to it.

Reference extraction is available within the Chrome Extension, if you are logged into your Scholarcy account, or within Scholarcy Library. Within the summary flashcard for the article, click the download button in the References tab to download them as either a RIS or BibTeX.

Reference extraction is also available via our API, and via our browser bookmarklets which you can install from our Labs page.


This may sometimes happen just after you activate your account. If you log out and log in again, this should resolve the problem.

Scholarcy makes it easy to promote your research on Twitter. It generates a Tweetable headine from your research paper, with a link to the article and with key terms converted into hashtags.

When you click the Tweet button, you can edit the Tweet before you send it. In some cases it may need a little cutting down to size.

There are a number of ways that you can use Scholarcy to create a plain language summary for a research paper.

  1. Upload the paper to your Scholarcy Library (or try the Flashcard generator) where it will create a summary flashcard
  2. Start with the text in the Scholarcy Highlights, Scholarcy Summary and Conclusion flashcard sections
  3. Follow links to definitions of technical terms for background context
  4. Rework the text to suit your audience. If you are using Scholarcy Library, you can export the flashcard to Microsoft Word so you can edit it directly