I just though I should write a short post about few of my recent favourite software on mac (macwares). It is not a “review” of any sort, just my “views”. I tend to try pretty much all the ‘shareware’ that I think might be useful, and many of the good ones get filtered through to my ‘to buy’ list that way, especially the ones that I tend to keep running from the day I download them. One of them happens to be Papers.
I used this organiser for academic papers (in electronic format – mainly pdfs) a while back and used it till its trial period ran out. I then was away in Africa and didn’t really have time to organise my collection of academic articles. Now that I’m back writing up my own thesis, I really needed something to organise my collection, which is pretty much all over my computer, and that too quick and in an systematic fashion. I turned back to Papers. Not only does it allow me to organise my pdfs the way I want them, but it also allows me to search for the metadata on the web (I use Google Scholar mainly because I don’t need any special login and find most of the information I need – to use other sources such as Web of Science, you need to set up authentication somehow!) and match them to the papers, all automatically. Now that is really cool. Further, I also got educational discount on my license for Papers so didn’t have to pay the full price (after using it every day for the past week, I think I wouldn’t mind paying the full price). I think going through my pdfs every day and searching for the metadata on the web and matching them with the paper so that they could be organised systematically (by Year, Author and so on), I’m now almost a third through my papers collection. Of course there will be some without metadata on the web, especially the documents that are not publicly available or those that Google Scholar doesn’t have in its database. I think I just need to spend a couple of hours at my office so that I can use Web of Science faster and without having to set up manual authentication to match the rest of the document with their metadata. For anyone with a huge collection of academic papers, books or any other documents and using a mac, I highly recommend this software. Worth every penny!