View Full Version : How do you keep your pdfs organized?

July 18th, 2007, 01:00 AM
This is for my fellow academicians out here who, like me, end up accumulating lots of journal articles as pdfs on the hard drive and cannot find them just when you need to look up one! Desktop searches, unfortumately are not a good solution since a search for say an author name brings up a lot of articles where the author's name may be in the references. I have wrestled with this and ended up writing some software for myself to (automatically if possible, else with manual help) tag each pdf with the article title, author name, journal, publication date and volume number so that they can be searched now by words in title, author names, journal, year of publication or a combination of these.
I want to know how many others find this a significant problem in their daily work and how they get around this.

July 18th, 2007, 01:14 AM
have a look at referencer (http://icculus.org/%7Ejcspray/referencer/). I use it to tag all my articles and books and keep them organized. For academic work I tend to rely on jabref.

July 18th, 2007, 05:34 PM
Just checked out Referencer myself (never heard of it before). Wow!

July 18th, 2007, 07:42 PM
I use Tellico (http://periapsis.org/tellico/) to organize my articles, it's easy to add a new "file" field to the bibliography template and it let you search/browse by author/title. When you have 50+ files of the same topic, tagging isn't enough for me. It can also can generate bibtex files!

July 19th, 2007, 02:30 AM
Referencer looks like what I wanted.
I will install it and see how good the automatic doi parsing is. To me, it is important to minimize the need to input information by hand and instead have most of it done automatically.

July 19th, 2007, 04:25 AM
This seems a lot like a Linux version of Papers (http://mekentosj.com/papers/) on OS X.

July 19th, 2007, 01:26 PM
This seems a lot like a Linux version of Papers (http://mekentosj.com/papers/) on OS X.

or yep (http://www.yepthat.com/) (even the interface seems familiar

July 22nd, 2007, 03:34 AM
I tried Referencer this spring. While it's exactly what I need to keep track of journal articles, it didn't really cut it.

I'm definitely keeping an eye on it though, as they work the bugs out and make improvements it will be what I want/need.

July 22nd, 2007, 03:42 AM
referencer looks good... should be available in the ubuntu repos if you asked me...

July 22nd, 2007, 04:19 PM
Just one caution on referencer. I tried it and was really impressed at first. But I found that it was assigning the wrong data (author, title, journal) to some of my pdfs. It must have picked up the wrong doi from the pdf I guess.
I reported this as a bug and I hope they fix it, as I did think it looked and worked great for the 99% of my files it worked for.

July 25th, 2007, 09:19 PM
I figure I need to be familiar with most of my references by the name of the author anyway... so I just rename the files like lastname_year and make sure that I import the basics + keywords and abstract into bibus every time I get a paper off of ISI. I then use bibus for searching and even reading abstracts. It does take some discipline to keep up with books and those papers that people send me as pdf's or on paper.

August 23rd, 2007, 10:57 AM
Zotero ( http://www.zotero.org/ ) for Firefox looks wonderful for small collections (up to 10,000 items).

Sadly, the Open Source community has not recognized the overwhelming importance of the PDF standard in education, research, and many large industries. When I have pointed to useful PDF tools on other platforms, Linux developers have refused to look at them because they would have to install a Windows application.

PDF Explorer ( http://homepage.oniduo.pt/pdfe/pdfe.html ) is very useful, but trapped by its Borland heritage. Maybe someone can help the author by suggesting the best way to transition to cross-platform code.

Along with the problem of PDF organization come the demands which large and growing collections place on file management applications and indexing utilities. Physical disc capacity is no longer a problem, but many application developers do not understand that we are rapidly approach the "Terabyte Desktop." I'm currently looking at CrossOver, Win4Lin, VMWare, and Xen to get several such applications running:

dtSearch ( http://www.dtsearch.com/ ) goes beyond the standard desktop search utilities and easily indexes terabytes. A Linux engine is available, but the Desktop product remains in Windozeland.

For academic purposes, PDF organization does not end in a citation database. The citations have to be pasted in a document. For small collections and papers, this is acceptable. But in managing many gigabytes of PDFs, cited across a collection of papers and in book manuscripts, things get complicated. The only application that handles the entire process is NotaBene ( www.notabene.com ), which is what became of XyWrite. It will definitely NOT run under CrossOver due to 16-bit legacy code.


August 26th, 2007, 05:00 AM
how about djvu? anyone with an indexer that will index djvu files?