The best AI tools for research papers and academic research (Literature review, grants, PDFs and more)

As our collective understanding and application of artificial intelligence (AI) continues to evolve, so too does the realm of academic research. Some people are scared by it while others are openly embracing the change. 

Make no mistake, AI is here to stay!

Instead of tirelessly scrolling through hundreds of PDFs, a powerful AI tool comes to your rescue, summarizing key information in your research papers. Instead of manually combing through citations and conducting literature reviews, an AI research assistant proficiently handles these tasks.

These aren’t futuristic dreams, but today’s reality. Welcome to the transformative world of AI-powered research tools!

This blog post will dive deeper into these tools, providing a detailed review of how AI is revolutionizing academic research. We’ll look at the tools that can make your literature review process less tedious, your search for relevant papers more precise, and your overall research process more efficient and fruitful.

I know that I wish these were around during my time in academia. It can be quite confronting when trying to work out what ones you should and shouldn’t use. A new one seems to be coming out every day!

Here is everything you need to know about AI for academic research and the ones I have personally trialed on my YouTube channel.

My Top AI Tools for Researchers and Academics – Tested and Reviewed!

There are many different tools now available on the market but there are only a handful that are specifically designed with researchers and academics as their primary user.

These are my recommendations that’ll cover almost everything that you’ll want to do:

ElicitFind literature using semantic search. I use this almost every day to answer a question that pops into my head.
SciSpaceAn increasingly powerful and useful application, especially effective for conducting literature reviews through its advanced semantic search capabilities.
ConcensusAn AI-powered search engine specifically designed for academic research, providing a range of innovative features that make it extremely valuable for academia, PhD candidates, and anyone interested in in-depth research on various topics.
PaperPalA tool designed to streamline the process of academic writing and journal submission, offering features that integrate directly with Microsoft Word as well as an online web document option.
ExplainPaperA tools that allow users to easily understand complex language in peer reviewed papers. The free tier is enough for nearly everyone.
Julius AIA versatile and powerful tool that acts like a personal data scientist, ideal for any research field. It simplifies data analysis and visualization, making complex tasks approachable and quick through its user-friendly interface.

Want to find out all of the tools that you could use?

Here they are, below:

AI literature search and mapping – best AI tools for a literature review – elicit and more

Harnessing AI tools for literature reviews and mapping brings a new level of efficiency and precision to academic research. No longer do you have to spend hours looking in obscure research databases to find what you need!

AI-powered tools like Semantic Scholar and elicit.org use sophisticated search engines to quickly identify relevant papers.

They can mine key information from countless PDFs, drastically reducing research time. You can even search with semantic questions, rather than having to deal with key words etc.

With AI as your research assistant, you can navigate the vast sea of scientific research with ease, uncovering citations and focusing on academic writing. It’s a revolutionary way to take on literature reviews.

  1. Elicit – https://elicit.org
  2. Litmaps – https://www.litmaps.com
  3. Research rabbit – https://www.researchrabbit.ai/
  4. Connected Papers – https://www.connectedpapers.com/
  5. Supersymmetry.ai: https://www.supersymmetry.ai
  6. Semantic Scholar: https://www.semanticscholar.org
  7. Laser AI – https://laser.ai/
  8. Inciteful – https://inciteful.xyz/
  9. Scite – https://scite.ai/
  10. System – https://www.system.com

If you like AI tools you may want to check out this article:

AI-powered research tools and AI for academic research

AI research tools, like Concensus, offer immense benefits in scientific research. Here are the general AI-powered tools for academic research. 

These AI-powered tools can efficiently summarize PDFs, extract key information, and perform AI-powered searches, and much more. Some are even working towards adding your own data base of files to ask questions from. 

Tools like scite even analyze citations in depth, while AI models like ChatGPT elicit new perspectives.

The result? The research process, previously a grueling endeavor, becomes significantly streamlined, offering you time for deeper exploration and understanding. Say goodbye to traditional struggles, and hello to your new AI research assistant!

  1. Consensus – https://consensus.app/
  2. Iris AI – https://iris.ai/
  3. Research Buddy – https://researchbuddy.app/
  4. Mirror Think – https://mirrorthink.ai

AI for reading peer-reviewed papers easily

Using AI tools like Explain paper and Humata can significantly enhance your engagement with peer-reviewed papers. I always used to skip over the details of the papers because I had reached saturation point with the information coming in. 

These AI-powered research tools provide succinct summaries, saving you from sifting through extensive PDFs – no more boring nights trying to figure out which papers are the most important ones for you to read!

They not only facilitate efficient literature reviews by presenting key information, but also find overlooked insights.

With AI, deciphering complex citations and accelerating research has never been easier.

  1. Aetherbrain – https://aetherbrain.ai
  2. Explain Paper – https://www.explainpaper.com
  3. Chat PDF – https://www.chatpdf.com
  4. Humata – https://www.humata.ai/
  5. Lateral AI – https://www.lateral.io/
  6. Paper Brain – https://www.paperbrain.study/
  7. Scholarcy – https://www.scholarcy.com/
  8. SciSpace Copilot – https://typeset.io/
  9. Unriddle – https://www.unriddle.ai/
  10. Sharly.ai – https://www.sharly.ai/
  11. Open Read – https://www.openread.academy

AI for scientific writing and research papers

In the ever-evolving realm of academic research, AI tools are increasingly taking center stage.

Enter Paper Wizard, Jenny.AI, and Wisio – these groundbreaking platforms are set to revolutionize the way we approach scientific writing.

Together, these AI tools are pioneering a new era of efficient, streamlined scientific writing.

  1. Jenny.AI – https://jenni.ai/ (20% off with code ANDY20)
  2. Yomu – https://www.yomu.ai
  3. Wisio – https://www.wisio.app

AI academic editing tools

In the realm of scientific writing and editing, artificial intelligence (AI) tools are making a world of difference, offering precision and efficiency like never before. Consider tools such as Paper Pal, Writefull, and Trinka.

Together, these tools usher in a new era of scientific writing, where AI is your dedicated partner in the quest for impeccable composition.

  1. PaperPal – https://paperpal.com/
  2. Writefull – https://www.writefull.com/
  3. Trinka – https://www.trinka.ai/

AI tools for grant writing

In the challenging realm of science grant writing, two innovative AI tools are making waves: Granted AI and Grantable.

These platforms are game-changers, leveraging the power of artificial intelligence to streamline and enhance the grant application process.

Granted AI, an intelligent tool, uses AI algorithms to simplify the process of finding, applying, and managing grants. Meanwhile, Grantable offers a platform that automates and organizes grant application processes, making it easier than ever to secure funding.

Together, these tools are transforming the way we approach grant writing, using the power of AI to turn a complex, often arduous task into a more manageable, efficient, and successful endeavor.

  1. Granted AI – https://grantedai.com/
  2. Grantable – https://grantable.co/

Best free AI research tools

There are many different tools online that are emerging for researchers to be able to streamline their research processes. There’s no need for convience to come at a massive cost and break the bank.

The best free ones at time of writing are:

  1. Elicit – https://elicit.org
  2. Connected Papers – https://www.connectedpapers.com/
  3. Research rabbit – https://www.researchrabbit.ai/
  4. Litmaps – https://www.litmaps.com (10% off Pro subscription using the code “STAPLETON”)
  5. Consensus – https://consensus.app/

Wrapping up

The integration of artificial intelligence in the world of academic research is nothing short of revolutionary.

With the array of AI tools we’ve explored today – from research and mapping, literature review, peer-reviewed papers reading, scientific writing, to academic editing and grant writing – the landscape of research is significantly transformed.

The advantages that AI-powered research tools bring to the table – efficiency, precision, time saving, and a more streamlined process – cannot be overstated.

These AI research tools aren’t just about convenience; they are transforming the way we conduct and comprehend research.

They liberate researchers from the clutches of tedium and overwhelm, allowing for more space for deep exploration, innovative thinking, and in-depth comprehension.

Whether you’re an experienced academic researcher or a student just starting out, these tools provide indispensable aid in your research journey.

And with a suite of free AI tools also available, there is no reason to not explore and embrace this AI revolution in academic research.

We are on the precipice of a new era of academic research, one where AI and human ingenuity work in tandem for richer, more profound scientific exploration. The future of research is here, and it is smart, efficient, and AI-powered.

Before we get too excited however, let us remember that AI tools are meant to be our assistants, not our masters. As we engage with these advanced technologies, let’s not lose sight of the human intellect, intuition, and imagination that form the heart of all meaningful research. Happy researching!

Thank you to Ivan Aguilar – Ph.D. Student at SFU (Simon Fraser University), for starting this list for me!

The Author

Dr Andrew Stapleton has a Masters and PhD in Chemistry from the UK and Australia. He has many years of research experience and has worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Associate at a number of Universities. Although having secured funding for his own research, he left academia to help others with his YouTube channel all about the inner workings of academia and how to make it work for you.