Search not finding older items?

Anyone else finding that search isn’t finding older items added to the library some time ago? Is there anyway to force paperpile to re-index to include everything in search results? In some cases I’ve added items via the “add papers” button, only to find that it added an item that was already there but not showing up via search - it even had a PDF! This has happened several times now…

I don’t think this is possible. An item cannot get ‘unindexed’ because it’s old. Have you looked in the Trash in case you have trashed it? If you know it had a PDF, can you search Google Drive to see if it’s in there?

Let me try explaining this a different way:

  1. I search for an item that is in my paperpile (with a PDF)
  2. The search yields no results
  3. I go to re-add the item by adding it via the “add papers” button.
  4. It shows up as already being there, with the PDF already attached.

Please don’t tell me this is not possible. It has happened multiple times.

Two additional notes:

  1. I can’t test this after it happens, because once it does it starts showing up in search again.

  2. I know that it didn’t pull some of these PDFs from the web because they are PDFs (or epubs) I uploaded to paperpile myself.

That’s a tough one. I don’t think we heard about this before.

You asked if there is a way to re-index suggesting you think they go “un-indexed”. That’s really technically not possible and thus not the first hypothesis to explain your observation, which we don’t question of course.

  • Are you using the same search terms before and after?
  • Do you have any filters on? For example, you search first in a folder and don’t find it and it shows up after you cleared the folder filter?

Same search terms. No filters.

When you don’t find it you re-upload the PDF from your computer? Do you remember what the upload report says? From your post it should say “0 papers uploaded” and if you click “Report” it should list the paper and say something along the lines “not uploaded, already exists”.

I didn’t re-upload any PDFs. See #4 above.

Sorry I can’t follow. Can you be more precise how you “re-add” them? Which of these options in the “Add papers” button do you use?

Or did we completely misunderstood your problem? How do you search? It’s the “search your papers” box, and not the box below “Search online” in my screenshot, right?

Sorry sometimes I’m being slow…

This happened with a number of books and so I can’t remember exactly which ones, but let me use this as an example:

I bought the Mike Davis book “late victorian holocausts” the last time Verso had a sale on their ebooks (90% off). But when they had another big sale last weekend, I did the same search as depicted here, but there was no result shown:

Then I re-downloaded it (luckily Verso had a record of my having purchased it and let me re-download the epub file without buying it again). Then I went to add the epub file by doing a search here:

When I went to click the “+” button it resolved to the existing item in my library, saying Verso instead of, and showing the attachment that had been added last year. (Like I said, I believe this book wasn’t one of the affected ones, but I was dealing with about 10 verso titles and exactly this scenario happened with at least 4 of them.)

Thanks for clarifying the situation.

One big caveat here is that it’s possible that when you use the same search terms to search your library you might not get results while you get results searching online resources.

That’s because we just pass on the search query to various resources like Google Scholar, Google Books, Crossref. It’s hard to search for something in Google Scholar not giving any results. However, Paperpile for example currently does not index author first names so you would not find them there.

On a side-note we have started some major efforts to consolidate searching in your library and online with a strong emphasis on books (which is surprisingly hard compared to journal articles).

But if that was the case, wouldn’t it remain the same before and after? Why do these searches start working after “re-adding” the item?