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Many scientists live for the thrill of discovery, the fundamental curiosity, and experimenting with different ideas. Formalizing the results into academic papers to be submitted to journals, for some, is just a chore.

Now, a program unveiled this week promises to actually write the first draft of a paper for scientists.

SciNote’s Manuscript Writer was announced this week by the Slovenian-based trademark holder, BioSistemika, as a kind of “magic spell to organize all your data.”

“It uses artificial intelligence to prepare a draft of your scientific manuscript based on your data, saving you time and energy to prepare manuscripts to publish,” the company said in the announcement.

The Manuscript Writer is a free add-on to sciNote, described by the developers as a free and open-source electronic lab notebook, or ELN, the company says. (The Manuscript Writer is free during the beta phase testing of the program underway – but the number of drafts that can be generated is limited, they add).

The program relies on users’ organizational skills in four categories: projects, experiments, tasks, and protocols.

The tasks are arranged in workflows, which include notes, text, checklists, pictures and other types of files and data, they explain. Also included would be open-access references and keywords.

Then, they say, the “magic happens” – the program creates almost an entire first draft. The abstract, introduction, materials and methods, and results are all generated anywhere from one to 24 hours later, they explain. (A “discussion” section is too specialized for the program to generate, they add).

The company explains that the first draft must be further refined by the scientist in preparation for publication.

“sciNote Manuscript Writer can gather existing data and prepare a valid draft, but it cannot draw new ideas, hypotheses or conclusions out of it,” they said.

Klemen Zupancic, the CEO of sciNote, said in a statement that the ELN portion of the program is already in use by 20,000 scientists worldwide.

“While the competition within the scientific community to publish articles in high-ranking journals is constantly on the rise, it is also vital that valuable research data are published, and therefore accessible, at the earliest possible time,” Zupancic said.

The unveiling of the sciNote technology’s release was first reported by the site Retraction Watch. The company told the site that the artificial intelligence checks for plagiarism while generating the draft of each paper.

“Publish or perish” pressures in academia have led to mass retractions for several international publishers recently. Some studies have indicated the language employed in the writing of the papers could tip-off editors to obfuscation tactics.

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