Use Paperpile’s Annotation System

Reading scientific papers as PDFs is a major part of being an academic. Professors, postdocs, grad students and undergraduates end up working with PDFs, making notes, and then using those notes to write a manuscript or paper. Although there are lots of great PDF viewers and reference managers, I use a program call Paperpile. Paperpile is cloud-based PDF manager and was originally designed to be a reference manager for Google Docs. It can sync all your PDFs with your Google Drive (so you can read them offline) and neatly integrates with Google Scholar and Chrome so that you can import references and PDFs from anywhere. It handles citations in Docs and in Word and has a beta app for iPad that is brilliant.

We use this in my lab all the time. It’s a paid app, but it is not very expensive, they have education pricing and as the lab PI, I just pay for a site license for all my trainees. I think it’s worth it.

Making Notes

Exporting and Sharing

Export the PDF

The exported PDF opens in other PDF viewers with your notes intact and editable (Apple Preview is shown below). This is great to share with someone who does not use Paperpile. Of course, you can print a clean PDF without the annotations.

Export the annotations only

And of course, if you’re using this annotation tool to make notes for your own paper or a manuscript review, you can export just your notes as text or markdown and open in Google Docs, Word, or any editor and use those to help frame your draft. You have the contents of the notes as text and can quote highlighted text. Images are not saved, of course.

Conclusion

Comments, corrections, and suggestion are always welcome.

Originally published at http://jpminda.com on January 18, 2020.

Author and Professor of Psychology at Western University. I write about Cognitive Science, Psychology, and Higher Education. http://jpminda.com/

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