FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions


All data is transmitted via SSL and TLS in both directions. When you use the Scholarcy Library, Scholarcy Chrome Extension, Scholarcy API, or any of our demos, we process the following data:

  • your IP address. This data is logged and retained for 1 year.
  • The current URL in your browser. This data is logged and retained for 1 year.
  • The contents of the current page in your browser, or the contents of the file that you upload. This data is deleted immediately after processing – usually within 30 seconds.
  • If you are logged in to the Scholarcy Web Library, an authentication cookie that allows the Chrome Extension to store the summary content in your Web Library account.

When you sign up to the Scholarcy Library web app, we securely store your name, email address, and affiliation if you choose to provide it. This data is stored as part of your account, and you have control over its retention and deletion.

If you sign up to our mailing list (via separate opt-in), we use secure, third-party services to process your email address. Any other processing of your data is initiated by you, such as requesting a password reset.

We do not store credit card or other sensitive information. Our payment services are handled by Stripe. See our Terms of Service for more information. You can also delete your account at any time and this will completely remove your information from our systems, apart from data required for legal compliance purposes.

We use Google Analytics to analyse the use of the Scholarcy Website, Scholarcy Library, and the Scholarcy Extension. For more details, see our Cookies Policy and our Privacy Policy.

If you subscribe to Scholarcy Library – our paid, premium subscription service –  you will be able to create searchable libraries of summary cards that you can access, share and annotate on any device, import and export your reference manager, import from Dropbox and export to Word. You will also have access to future premium features such as:

  • create bibliographies in APA, MLA, Harvard, Chicago and Vancouver styles
  • export summaries to Evernote
  • Google Docs integration
  • essay plan generation

and much more, for a reasonable monthly cost – see the Pricing page.

Scholarcy automatically highlights important information in the document. Here’s what the different colours mean:

  • Purple: Key claims and contributions made by the paper
  • Yellow: Key knowledge statements and take-home facts
  • Green: Populations and statistics: study groups, sample sizes, and outcomes (e.g. p values)

Most of the time taken is loading the PDF or Word document from the server where it resides, or uploading the document from your computer. If you are using the Scholarcy Web Library, and are uploading a large document with a slow internet connection, it may take a minute or two before the summary card appears in your library.

Once it has the PDF, Scholarcy takes around 5-20 seconds to turn the PDF into data. However, some PDFs that live on a slow server, or contain many images, may take more time to process. If you don’t require figure extraction:

  • If using the Chrome Extension, right-click on the Scholarcy icon in the Chrome toolbar (or via chrome://extensions/, choose Options, and uncheck ‘Extract figures’.
  • If using the Library app, choose Settings and uncheck ‘Extract figures’

It’s also possible that the user interface hasn’t automatically refreshed, so you can reload the page and the summary card should then appear in your library.

This may occur for a number of reasons, such as:

  • the current URL is not a PDF
  • the PDF is requires a log in to access
  • the PDF is on ResearchGate (they block us – boo! – but you can upload the PDF instead)
  • the PDF is password-protected or does not allow copying (we respect that)
  • your firewall is blocking the service
  • you have disabled permissions to allow Scholarcy to process your content
  • the PDF file is on your computer (with a file:// url in the browser) and you have not enabled ‘Allow access to file URLs’
  • the PDF is too large
  • the server is temporarily busy
  • you have reached the daily limit if you are using a free account.

If the problem persists, please contact us.

The Scholarcy Chrome extension has passed all of Google’s automated and manual security checks and is safe to use. The extension only needs to read the current URL of the page you have open and its content type. You can also give it permission to upload PDF files from your computer. It does not read or change any data on the page. You will also see the same warning on practically all Chrome Extensions including chart-topping extensions such as Grammarly and Evernote.

We are rolling out some changes to our Extension that will give you more control over the permissions. This may limit its functionality for you, but the Extension will request the permissions that it needs and you can grant or deny the request.

Not at this time – currently Scholarcy needs a publicly accessible URL to a paper, or needs you to upload the paper from your computer.

Scholarcy streams the document into memory, and then permanently deletes it immediately after processing – usually within 30 seconds. It returns the extracted reading list, summaries, and references back to you. Use of these snippets in good faith for the purposes of dissemination of knowledge is covered by US Fair Use and recent UK Copyright Exemptions for Text and data mining for non-commercial research.

Scholarcy is a service that uses machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to read and condense academic papers into referenced summaries. Either upload your PDFs to Scholarcy, or give Scholarcy the public URL of a PDF and it will read the paper, break it down into readable chunks, and summarise it automatically. It will also read the bibliography and generate a link for each reference so that you can download cited papers.

Scholarcy only works with public-access PDF URLs that are covered by relevant Creative Commons licences such as the Attribution ShareAlike and Public Domain licenses, as used by repositories such as arXiv.org and BMC.

You must have lawful, legitimate access to any PDF that you upload. Please see our Terms of Service.