We are investigating a new kind of scientiﬁc information interface which involves the use of a touch screen device such as a tablet, supporting sketching and handwriting input to access, annotate, store and retrieve research material. Personal research materials can therefore be organized and shared selectively in a reliable social networking environment by academic researchers.
In collaborative research settings, academic researchers rely on both public and personal information, supplementing the study of technical literature with personal conversations and messages with other researchers, as well as individual notes. Although handwriting is still essential for much research-related “thinking,” understanding and problem solving activities in science and engineering, handwriting analysis is still an open problem when dealing with unconstrained environments and large lexicons. Hence, records of research design work which can prove to be very valuable for teaching and for future research are getting lost.