Tags for annotations

Hi paperpile community!

I would like to request a feature for the future for when you find the time. :smile:

I would like to be able to add keys/tags in my annotations in each PDF. For example, when I read a paper, it is usually divided in 4 main parts:

  1. Introduction
  2. Methodology
  3. Results
  4. Discussion

For each part I keep a different set of annotations. For instance, in the Methodology I usually keep Type: Simulation, Tool: Molecular_Dynamics, Force_Field: CHARMM36, Molecules: DOPC,DOPE, etc.

What I would love to see, is a way to define the keywords Type, Tool, Force_field etc as “searchable tags” that then I can search for or use in boolean operations in the search field.

For example, if I have done my literature review and I want to create a list of all the papers that used a particular force_field or a particular molecule, I would like to be able to write in the search field: noteTag.type(DOPC) or something similar, and return all the papers that have these annotations.

I think it would be really useful if you want to quickly find information that you have stored in the past, without having to go through the literature again.

I hope I made my self clear on explaining my request. :grin:

Keep up the amazing job you do!



Can’t you use labels or folders for this purpose?

Well, using folders is certainlynot the way to go because it would really mess everything up. Using labels could be a temporary alternative but there are at least two major disadvantages:

First of all, one issue would be label cluttering. I want labels to categorize my papers in general categories and not for specific details. Otherwise, each paper will have 50 labels which is unpractical.

The second issue is that there are no label categories. I will explain by expanding the above example: Let’s say that I just finished reading and organizing literature of how small molecules interact with lipid membranes. Each paper tests its own set of molecules.

If I want to quickly check which molecules have been tested for all papers on this field (e.g. all papers with label lipid_interactions), there is no way to do it, because with the current status, each label is independent. E.g. for each molecule I encounter, I would have to create a new label (H2O,CO2 etc) but all these don’t mean anything for the system. There is no specific way to search for all of them, because paperpile cannot recognize what these labels contain.

What I need, is the ability to create tags that are like containers or categories. For example to set the keyword/tag #molecule: H2O;CO2 as part of a methodology note. Then, by using the search field you can ask to see all the #molecule tag for the paper category that you wish, and therefore get an overview of what has been studied already in an entire field.

If you want to expand this more, by exporting these lists or adding a minor analysis tool, you can perform a statistical review of the selections and observe the evolution of the entire research field over time or where the research hotspots are. :wink:

This is what I call reference management and literature organization. At the moment no software is doing this but I believe it will be a game changer. Also I trust paperpile developers because so far they have proved that they understand the needs of the research community. :grin:


I think you’re on to something here and hope the creators of Paperpile would pay close attention. Good organization is always a challenge when managing a large amount of information — I’d welcome any features that help in that respect.