ANN ARBOR (WWJ) — The collaboration and document management software Flow, from the Ann Arbor database publisher ProQuest LLC, is now accessible free for researchers — including those working for institutions that don’t subscribe to the service.

Flow manages researcher workflows while integrating document management and sharing with citation data. This enables users to discover and manage content, store and organize documents, and through integration with Microsoft Word, write papers, supported with instant bibliographies and annotation.

Flow’s social capabilities also allow simple document sharing.

Flow is based on ProQuest’s RefWorks-COS software, the combination of two web-based research management, writing and collaboration tools now in use by millions of university researchers around the world.

Like RefWorks, Flow is designed to keep libraries at the hub of university research. Subscribing libraries can tap into usage data, revealing patterns that help them understand what their users are researching and which resources are most useful to them. Broadening access to Flow via free individual accounts is expected to yield richer analytics and content usage data.

“The ways in which researchers are managing materials and collaborating has changed,” said Sharol Lubrano, vice president of research solutions for ProQuest. “Flow recognizes and supports those new routines intuitively. But it also takes the next step by generating data that libraries can rely on to improve their service, hone their collections and plot trends that help them anticipate future needs.”

Flow was introduced in mid-2013. Its integration of text documents and references enables researchers and scholars to easily organize their research. Sharing capabilities support team collaboration, providing a platform for study groups to work together from multiple locations and for instructors to make class readings accessible within the student workflow.

Users can save web page content and metadata, create collections to organize documents and citations, and upload PDF and Office documents. Flow also has built-in recognition of documents and citations so users don’t have to enter metadata manually. Once saved to the cloud, these documents can be read, highlighted, and annotated.

In addition to providing usage statistics, institutional subscriptions enable libraries to offer a premium service to their users, including 10 gigabits of storage per user, unlimited collaborators and training services. The free accounts have 2 gigabits of storage and may add up to 10 collaborators per project.

More at

More about ProQuest LLC and its ProQuest, Bowker, Dialog, Ebrary, EBL and Serials Solutions, along with its Summon discovery service, the Flow collaboration platform, the Pivot research development tool and the Intota library services platform at


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