Searching for author names with accented characters?

I’m not sure whether this is a feature or support request.

Being English (only) speaking, I don’t typically deal with accented characters other than author names in scientific publications. Paperpile distinguishes accented vs. non-accented characters, which I’m sure is important, but it makes it tricky to search for authors with such characters. I often don’t remember whether a name has letters which are accented (or what the accents are and over which letters), and many of the entries of such authors in my library are missing the accents (sometimes because the authors publish with and without the accents). I also don’t know the accent codes (though I should probably learn them). Could there be a way to search while ignoring the differences between accented and unaccented characters, sort of like ignoring case?

This is important, not just because it is difficult to type some names, but also because the metadata sometimes includes accents and sometimes does not. For instance, adding books by Žižek to my bibliography includes both “Žižek” and “Zizek” - I should be able to search for both at the same time without worrying what Google (or publishers) did with the accents. (And it is worth adding that many other search engines and databases seem to be able to manage this trick.)

We are well aware of this issue. It’s not hard but it’s also not completely trivial and we just did not get to it yet. I’ll post updates here once it’s implemented.


It’s 2022, and the feature doesn’t seem to be operational yet. I work a lot in Spanish and Portuguese, and “Avila” sorts correctly, while “Ávila” remains unsorted. Is there a way to strip out the special character when Paperpile sorts author names alphabetically? It works on Endnote, and I just have too many references with special characters for this to be broken. Thanks!

Thanks for the ping here, @vbarletta. The team confirms this is being taken into account for the advanced search functions currently under development, so accented characters will be properly sorted/indexed once we release that. I don’t have a precise time expectation to share at the moment but hope to have news later in the year.