Introducing Copilot: Your AI assistant that helps explain papers
Research Research reading

Introducing Copilot: Your AI assistant that helps explain papers


Here's one thing most of us agree on, processing information in research papers takes work. But wouldn't it be great if you could have AI explain papers to you no matter what the topic is, as you read, whenever you want?

Picture this: every time you see a complicated equation in research papers, you’d get an explanation of it right there on the same screen. Even better, imagine you can ask any number of follow-up questions and get answers to them instantly. That's exactly what you get with SciSpace Copilot!

Use this AI assistant to get explanations and answers on any research paper as you read. Works for tables, equations, diagrams, jargon, and even lengthy blocks of text. You don't have to pause and search for it elsewhere. And your learning flow won't be disrupted.

Critical thinking and problem-solving are the bedrock of research. Copilot provides all the contextual information you ask for in real-time. It gives you more time to think about the research and focus more on making inferences and drawing meaningful conclusions.

What is SciSpace Copilot?

Copilot is like your own personal AI research assistant. It's built using GPT-3, a third-generation machine-learning model, and sits on top of our research repository. That means whenever you need help, Copilot is there to explain the paper, answer your queries, and provide you with the context you need.

Video showing how SciSpace Copilot works.

How to use Copilot to explain papers?

For starters, the AI assistant is available across all the 270 million+ papers on the SciSpace repository. So, you can simply search for the paper you want to look up to get started.

Or, if you have the PDF stored on your device, you can sign up to SciSpace and then upload the same. Either way, it provides contextual explanations and answers you need.

How to get SciSpace Copilot to explain a paper?
How to get started with reading scientific papers using SciSpace Copilot?

Copilot can assist you whether you're working on your literature review, catching up on the latest in your field, or just reading for fun. Let's look at how the AI research assistant helps you to break down and get through all those academic papers.

1. Highlight text to understand them better

Came across unfamiliar terms or acronyms while reading a research paper? With Copilot, simply highlight it to get an explanation on the same screen.

Highlight terms in a research paper to get explanations from AI assistant
Highlight terms to get explanations from the AI assistant

It works for lengthy passages too. So, next time you're stuck while reading a paper, just select the text which requires further elaboration. Get background information about what is being discussed in the passage — concepts, theories, methods and learn how they are relevant to the paper.

Highlight paragraphs to get Copilot to explain paper sections to you
Highlight paragraphs to get Copilot to break them down for you and give you more context

2. Crop formulas and tables to learn their implications

Comprehending the math in a paper can be challenging. You can skim through and read the results, but what if there was a better option? Now just clip every equation you see in a paper to get your AI research assistant to explain it to you. Glean more insights by breaking equations down step-by-step and making sense of their implications.

Crop formulas in academic papers to learn their implications
Crop formulas to learn their implications

You can also crop tables for an overview of the data. It should help you analyze and examine the data more closely and gain more context into the conclusions drawn by the author.

Snip tables in research papers to get more context on the data
Snip tables to get more context on the data

3. Ask questions to get more context and clarity

Learning cannot be complete without questions. Asking questions is how you connect your existing knowledge with new information. You can, of course, refer to another text or reach out to authors or peers with your queries. But what if you need a quick answer so that you can keep reading?

Copilot makes that easy and instant. Just type in your query as you're reading, and the AI research assistant provides a relevant answer on the same page. Be it a technical question or something related to the theory or methodology. Feel free to ask any number of questions.

Ask questions to get clarifications instantly from the AI
Ask any number of questions you need to get the full context

On top of that, if Copilot's initial answer to a question fails to clarify your doubt completely, you can zero in on it with follow-up questions. You can also do the same if you want to dig deeper into the explanations you receive for excerpts and equations.

Ask follow-up questions if you want to understand the concept further
Ask follow-up questions if you want to understand the concept further

These are the three key ways you can use Copilot. In addition to this, you can converse with the AI research assistant in multiple languages. It can explain papers and provide answers in any language you choose. We currently support 13 languages and plan to add many more.

Get research paper explanations and answers in multiple different languages
Converse and get explanations in multiple languages

And please know that your conversation with Copilot on a particular paper is automatically saved. This way, you can refer back to it anytime you need.

New additions to SciSpace Copilot

Since we released Copilot in November 2022, we have added many new features to improve your research reading workflow.

Here are some of the key changes:

Now connect your SciSpace Library with your Zotero Library. You can directly import PDFs of any research paper, conference proceeding, or preprint into your SciSpace Library and use Copilot to get a deeper understanding.

Zotero-SciSpace Copilot integration
Zotero integration

You can also highlight key sections and add notes to the PDF as you read. And top it off by turning helpful explanations and answers from Copilot into notes — making it easy to review the paper in the future.

SciSpace Highlights & Notes feature
Highlights & Notes feature

Wrapping up

Copilot is still very much a work in progress. We are continuously working to enhance the features and make Copilot even more helpful for researchers and other research readers. The aim is to make research papers more interactive so that you get contextual help while reading.

We at SciSpace are working to make every published paper utilized to its optimum. Copilot is just the beginning; join us on our journey.

We’d love you to try it out and tell us about your experience. You can join our Discord Community, write to us on Twitter, or email us at