Frequently Asked Questions

If your question is not answered here, please send us a message through our contact form.

About SciFlow

How did SciFlow come to be?

We thoroughly answer this question in this blog article.

What is SciFlow’s Business Model?

SciFlow has a Freemium component (always free). We offer additional support and services for research institutions.

Always free

You can write in SciFlow as much as you want, from wherever you want. We have a Fair-Use policy regarding file storage space.

Premium services

Please have a look at our offering for research institutions

How does SciFlow support Open Science?

We want to contribute to a transparent and open environment in the world of science and research. Here’s how SciFlow follows the ideology of Open Science.

Open Collaboration

SciFlow enables teams of researchers to access the same version of an article in one place, at all times. This makes writing collaboratively and giving feedback easily possible. SciFlow is easy-to-use and requires no special prerequisite skills, a crucial factor in interdisciplinary collaboration.

Open Access

SciFlow supports the publishing of articles in Open Access Journals, Pre-Print Archives and the secondary publication at your institution. When SciFlow publishes articles in the future (like OpenD), we commit ourselves that they will be openly accessible fo all.

Open Format

SciFlow does not apply an own format, but saves all data in an open HTML file, to which you have access at all times.

Open Source

SciFlow uses Open Source components and actively contributes developments back to the community. Part of our Road Map for the future is to make the writing and publishing components of SciFlow fully Open Source (like OpenD).

What are the advantages of SciFlow?

The most important advantage for researchers is SciFlow’s ability to handle all tasks that come with publishing research efficiently on one platform. The effort required to publish is reduced and researchers have more time to focus on research. Additionally, all published texts are openly available.

What is the difference compared to platforms like Overleaf and Authorea?

SciFlow differentiates itself from Authorea and Overleaf in the following ways:

  • Data storage in Germany
  • Writing and collaborating in SciFlow is free and unlimited
  • No LaTeX compilation behind the scenes, which leads to more stable exports.
  • Development and prioritizing of specific Journal Templates on request.

How exactly does the installation of SciFlow at an institution work?

The implementation is usually very easy and unbureaucratic, as SciFlow does not need to be installed. We set up a portal page for your institution from which your users can get all information and log into the software. To give you a better understanding of how SciFlow has been implemented and disseminated at MLU Halle-Wittenberg, please request the case study we have created for this purpose.


What technologies does SciFlow use?

SciFlow uses the advantages of a modern container structure to support scalability, expandability, and security. Open Source licenses are a central part of SciFlow development philosophy.

The editor is based on the Open Source Framework Angular (MIT License), which uses ProseMirror (MIT License) as the editor. Additionally, it makes use of Docker Container (Apache 2.0 License) based on the Node.js Framework (MIT License), to connect services like printing, exporting, collaborating or authentification.

A JSON-Web-Token authentification strategy simultaneously allows high security and flexibility of services. This strategy, combined with modern Load-Balancing and Proxy solutions (Traefik, MIT License; NGINX, BSD-License) allows SciFlow to scale upwards for larger user requirements.

The SciFlow data format bases itself on HTMLBook (MIT License) in a way that allows the development of SciFlow documents through the community. There is no satisfactory Open Source option for PDF Export. Therefore, the Software of the company YesLogic is used.

SciFlow publishes components of its solution under the MIT License (such as contributions to ProseMirror or offering examples for publishing and container architecture).

This open treatment of technology, the distribution of services, and the concentration on one language (Typescript) in all components enable the future maintenance and expansion of SciFlow.

In which data format does SciFlow save documents?

We use HTML (HTMLBook to be exact). Images are saved in their original format in separate files.

Which PDF standards does SciFlow support?

We export PDF/A-1b compatible PDF files. PDF/A-1a is on our technology partner’s road map, but hasn’t been implemented yet.

Which kinds of authentification are supported?

We are planning to support OrcID in addition to the SciFlow login.

Features and operation

My university provides LanguageTool Premium. Why can't I use it?

You have probably not registered with your university email address. Please register again using your university address and everything should work out fine.

Can I buy the Pro features as a single user?

Pro features include change tracking (who changed what), premium support via chat, advanced spellchecking with LanguageTool Premium as well as customized templates for your needs. If your institution does not have a license for the SciFlow Authoring Platform, you can get SciFlow Groups for you and your team.

See a comparison of all features here.

Data security and Data protection

Here you can read a summary of our data protection declaration. We, SciFlow GmbH, would like to give you, the user, a brief summary of the most important points. Note: The data protection declaration is the relevant legal document.

You will find the privacy policy here (only in German, we are working on a translation).

What data does SciFlow collect?

SciFlow's online word processing system saves all written texts. Users can deposit profile information, such as name and address of the research institution, as these are often also part of the submission to the publisher. All entries are optional. For support and usage statistics, we also collect some data automatically, such as the browser and IP address.

Cookies of the website do not have to be accepted.

Where is my data stored?

All written texts are stored on servers located exclusively in Germany.

Cookies of the website do not have to be accepted.

Will my data be passed on to third parties?

Data will only be shared with third parties if this is necessary to fulfill the terms of use (e.g., data center service providers). If a user account belongs to an institution with a SciFlow license, the institutional email address used for registration as well as anonymized usage data may be passed on to an administrator in order to prove the use and success of SciFlow at the institution. Usage data and personal data are generally separated.

We explicitly exclude selling or otherwise commercializing user documents. User data is not our business model.

Will my Data be made accessible to third parties for advertising purposes or affiliation programs?


Who at SciFlow has access to my data?

We have separate responsibilities and therefore organizationally restricted access to data. User data may only be accessed within the scope of support and with the prior consent of the user.

Passwords are only stored in encrypted form. Even we can not re-construct your password.

How can I delete my account and all related data?

Contact us in our chat or write an e-mail to [email protected].

What safety standards does SciFlow make use of?

SciFlow runs a document server of certified data centers in Frankfurt/M (ISO 9001, ISO 27001, PCI-DSS, SSAE16 / ISAE3402) and Karlsruhe (ISO 27001).Physical and technological access are restricted to the required personnel. All connections from the SciFlow App are SSL encrypted. Critical security aspects of the application (like the authentification) are secured through Rate Limits and additional encryption (One-Way-Encryption for passwords). Operating Systems are secured through additional packets (AppArmor). SciFlow’s service architecture runs on the container technology Docker. This architecture enables the continuous execution of Security Updates and Patches of Operating Systems without an interruption in service.