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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

4 Ways to Store your PDF's

As blogger but also as doctor I am the proud owner of a lot of pdf's. Mostly scientific papers printed or downloaded from the University Library. Now that pile can grow to an enormous height.

How to save these files without being able to find them again when needed?

There are two ways off-line and two ways on line. The advantage of an on line library is that you can share the articles and read them anywhere with a computer or laptop. Real paper is easily scanned into a PDf in one step.

You just want to save tax documents on your computer, you want a quick and easy way to do it. While most scanner workflows require several steps to digitize documents, the Fujitsu ScanSnap transforms paper into PDF with a single button press.

Ways to store PDF's

  • On a Mac I use Yep. Yep is software comparable to iTunes and iPhoto. You can store or let the program scan your hard drive for pdf files and tag them.
    Start Yep for the first time and it automatically shows you all your PDFs tagged based on where they were found on your hard disk. But the real fun begins when you start adding your own tags. You'll never go back to a hierarchical filing system again.
    You can search for files in yep based on tags. You can save these searches when you need them on more than one occasion. Comparable to play lists.
    Instead of having to decide which folder to store documents in, a simple, powerful tag mechanism we call the ‘ Yep Tag Cloud’ allows you to tag and retrieve documents with ease. In addition to tagging, there is a collection organizer similar to iTunes or iPhoto that lets you make ‘smart collections ’.

  • On a windows computer I use endnote. You can download references from PubMed directly into endnote. You can than attach pdf's to their reference.
    The “Link to PDF” field is renamed to “File Attachment” for organizing up to 45 files per reference. Your custom reference types can now be exported and imported between computers easily. And, you can control the display font for the “Search” window and reference field labels.
    Via search you can retrieve the pdf files.

  • An on line solution is Connotea.The advantages being that you can tag the articles and retrieve them from any computer as long as your on line.
    You will have to register. You can easily share your references with your colleagues. You can export the references for any reference database such as endnote, bibtex, and reference manager.
    You can install a simple button on your browser to import thereference into your library. The only disadvantage is that you can't link to a pdf file.
    Saving references in Conntoea is quick and easy. You do it by saving a link to a web page for the reference, whether that be the PubMed entry, the publisher's PDF, or even an Amazon product page for a book. Connotea will, wherever possible, recognise the reference and automatically add in the bibliographic information for you. In Connotea you assign keywords (or 'tags') to your references. These can be anything you like, and you can use as many as you like, so there's no more need to navigate complicated hierarchies of folders and categories. Connotea shows you all the tags you've ever used, so it's easy to get back to a reference once you've saved it.

  • The other on line solution is CiteULike. It is comparable with connotea but here you can save your pdf with the reference which is clearly an advantage compared to connotea. You can share your library with others, and find out who is reading the same papers as you. In turn, this can help you discover literature which is relevant to your field but you may not have known about.This system is also based on tags. You can import and export references.
    CiteULike is a free service to help you to store, organise and share the scholarly papers you are reading. When you see a paper on the web that interests you, you can click one button and have it added to your personal library. CiteULike automatically extracts the citation details, so there's no need to type them in yourself. It all works from within your web browser so there's no need to install any software. Because your library is stored on the server, you can access it from any computer with an Internet connection.

My choices are yep and citeulike, any other suggestions, please let me know in the comments

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