Helpful tools

Open Science Framework (OSF)

The Open Science Framework is a free, cloud-based management tool for your research projects. Despite the name, it can easily be used for any type of research project in any field. The OSF allows you to keep all the information about your project -- files, data, and protocols -- in one central location. Third-party integrations allow you to connect up content you and others have in Stanford Box, GitHub, Google Drive, AWS, Dropbox, Mendeley, and other locations without having to actually move any of that content. You have the option to keep a project private or make the project (or certain parts of the project) public. Granular access controls allow you to decide who can see and interact with which parts of a project, making it great for collaborations.


OpenRefine (formerly Google Refine) is a desktop application that can help you clean up messy or inconsistent data by helping you locate those inconsistencies and providing easy ways to fix them. It can also help you transform your data and extend it with web services. All editing operations are tracked, allowing you to roll back to previous versions.


Tabula is a tool for "liberating data tables trapped inside pdf files." It extracts data tables from pdf documents to comma- or tab-separated value formats (CSV or TSV). Note that this only works for text-based PDFs, not scanned documents (which are basically images). Tabula runs within your browser; just upload your files and extract. Data can be corrected before downloading.

UnScanIt & UnScanIt Gel

UnScanIt allows you to extract (x,y) data values from scanned images of charts or graphs. UnScanIt Gel includes the basic UnScanIt functions, but also allows you to quantify any type of electrophoretic gel, from Western blots to TLC.


Projects software from Digital Science is designed to help you manage your research data, improve efficiency, save time, and be better organized. It is NOT an electronic notebook; it's a simple interface designed to help you keep track of things a little more efficiently. The software includes integration with figshare collaborative spaces so that you can invite others to share your research online.

More tools

This web site also contains information about other types of helpful tools:












  • Platforms: Mac (OS X 10.6 or higher)
  • Cost: $26 for individual academic license
  • More information