Adding comments to bibliography possible?


Perhaps I have overlooked it, but I am writing for a journal that allows comments in the bibliography (one of those journals with the numbered superscript citations) and don’t see a way to add a comment to the bibliography. I need to do it within Paperpile so that the citation numbering is correct. Is there a way? Or do I have to create a placeholder reference in my library, or one that has the comment text as the title with no authors?


In Paperpile, write your comment in the Notes section. Then, go to Settings → Export → BibTeX and check the ‘Include Notes’ box. Export your reference database to .bib.

You’ll need to use a CSL file that renders notes in the reference list. The only one I’ve been able to fine is APA style with notes, but you can search for styles here: Alternatively, you could edit an existing CSL style file to output notes.


Thanks. Is there a way to do this within Paperpile? Also, what Notes section are you referring to?


I did find a clunky way to do it. I made several fake citations called Comment 1, Comment 2, etc., which I cite in the text. Then I can go into the citations or the final bibliography and replace those with the real comments, methods, whatever. Perhaps if PP added a Note citation type specifically for this function, it would make it obvious where to put the text, because as of now I am putting the comment text in the Title field.


I added a custom field. Here’s what came out in the references section:

Slovenko, R. (1991). Child custody and the psychotherapist-patient privilege. J. Psychiatry & L., 19, 163. this is a note--------------------------------. Retrieved from


Nice. Thanks for sharing. How did you get the custom field to show up in the bibliography? Did you have to edit the style?


Go to the reference in Paperpile and select it. You should see a few little icons at the bottom. Click the pencil and enter your note in the field.

If you meant that you wanted to use Google Docs: navigate to your document, add the reference via the Paperpile add-on (if you haven’t done so already), select the APA style recommended above, and format the references.

I’m traveling at the moment, but I can share an example when I get a chance.


edit the entry in PP. Notice the large button that says “additional fields”. Click on it. Custom fields is the last item under the 1st category (general), right before People. Check the box, the click the blue SAVE button. Then the field CUSTOM SUBTYPE appears. Enter your data in the test field.


See an example Google Doc with a couple of screenshots:

Hope this helps.


Thanks. Good to know you can do this. Any idea how to make notes that are not attached to a reference, basically an endnote? Right now I’m making phony references.


Based on your first post, it sounded like the journal allowed you to provide little summaries of “key references” within the bibliography itself. Perhaps I misunderstood what you had in mind.

Can you mock up a screenshot or link to what you’re going for?