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Kevin Bonham

mac (Archived) Feature Request: PDF Metadata search

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I've looked at a couple of different threads around this, and the responses have been helpful, but ultimately the answers don't fit my use-case. 

 

I'm a scientist, and I use EN as a virtual lab notebook to store protocols, data, conference notes etc. The one thing missing is the ability to manage the thousands of pdfs of scientific literature that I need. Many other tools for this exist (like Papers2 and mendeley), but using multiple applications and trying to keep them sync'd is a pain, especially as I'm getting ready to write my thesis and already have to keep track of way too much.

 

I'm not asking for a full-featured library manager like Mendeley, but at a bare minimum, I need to be able to access and do advanced searches in the metadata that's pulled down in pdfs. For instance, if I download a paper published in Science in 2008 by John Smith, I can search for "smith 2008 science." Evernote can find text inside pdfs, but it will return any document or note that has "smith," "2008," and "science" somewhere in the note, regardless of where it appears. Since many of my papers have probably been authored by Smith, or will reference him, and the references for almost all of my papers likely contain Science and 2008 somewhere, searches for these key details will be more or less useless. What I need is to be able to search for "Date:2008, Author:smith, Journal:science" or something and have it return only papers published in science in 2008 that has smith as an author. Those parameters exist in the metadata attached to scientific papers, but EN doesn't seem to know how to read it/search for it.

 

Populating tags with this sort of data doesn't seem feasible, since for the above example I'd need to include "Author:John Smith, Author:Smith, Author: Smith J" all for the same paper, and most papers have many authors, middle initials etc. I know the functionality is possible, since other software is capable of it, but it doesn't currently seem possible in evernote.

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Hate to promote the opposition, but this use case seems a bit specialised for a general purpose external brain.  I use lots of additional software - to write documents, view videos and send emails.  I also use Docear

 

Docear (“dog-ear”) is an academic literature suite. It integrates everything you need to search, organize and create academic literature into a single application: digital library with support for pdf documents, reference manager, note taking and with mind maps taking a central role. What’s more, Docear works seamlessly with many existing tools like Mendeley, Microsoft Word, and Foxit Reader. Docear is free and open source, based on Freeplane, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Technology and developed by scientists from around the world, among others from OvGU, and the University of California, Berkeley.

 

It also indexes metadata..

 

Still think its a dumb name though.

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Docear (“dog-ear”) is an academic literature suite. It integrates everything you need to search, organize and create academic literature into a single application: digital library with support for pdf documents, reference manager, note taking and with mind maps taking a central role. What’s more, Docear works seamlessly with many existing tools like Mendeley, Microsoft Word, and Foxit Reader. Docear is free and open source, based on Freeplane, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Technology and developed by scientists from around the world, among others from OvGU, and the University of California, Berkeley.

 

It also indexes metadata..

 

Still think its a dumb name though.

 

Wow!  This looks great for anyone who need to maintain and ref a library of documents.  I wonder if GrumpyMonkey has seen this?  Since he is having such a hard time making Evernote work with his large PDF library, it might be just what he needs.

 

How is its usability, Gaz?

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Doh! Didn't think to remind him about this - Docear used to be called something else - "Sci-plore" I think until they changed it for something "better",  and I have mentioned it under that heading before..  I used it to suck in a small library of PDFs that I had and make them all keyword searchable including content and metadata.  There are lots of additional clever uses for research and citations that I just haven't gotten into.  It seems easy to use for my limited purposes,  and searches quickly and (AFAIK) accurately.

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