Do you collect your papers in any particular manner?

April 16, 2012

Thinking of “a lasting record” of your achievement and, more specifically Elsevier’s offer to sell you a bound volume of your papers, I was wondering:

Do you collect all of your papers together in hardcopy in some manner? Do your have a way to quickly grab all your papers and thumb through them?

I have the three-ring-binder system. I can just pull the binder off my shelf and rapidly access my papers (and only my papers).

I use this system with regularity.

No Responses Yet to “Do you collect your papers in any particular manner?”

  1. Confounding Says:

    I have a folder titled ‘My Papers’ inside my paper management software (the aptly named Papers). That’s about all there is to it.


  2. I use this system with regularity.

    I’m sure you do. You have one of those binders with the little clutch that keeps it opened, so you can hold it with just one hand. Amirite?


  3. A. Tasso Says:

    folder on my computer with PDFs of my papers


  4. Isis the Scientist Says:



  5. drugmonkey Says:

    I have a folder titled ‘My Papers’ inside my paper management software
    folder on my computer with PDFs of my papers

    Yep, I have that as well. I use both systems of organization.



    Followup question….do you similarly organize your (successful) grant applications in one place or are they distributed around? Mine are not all organized in one place although I sometimes wish I had binders with just the funded grant apps in one place.


  6. Grumble Says:

    All of my published papers are indexed in PubMed. Click, click, click and there is the PDF.

    All my successful (NIH) grant applications are on Commons. Click, click, click and there is the PDF.

    I also have lots of empty file cabinet drawers.


  7. Dr24hours Says:

    I have hardcopies on my bookshelf at home. And I try to keep .pdfs on my kindle, but I’m behind by about 3 papers.


  8. Dr24hours Says:

    Oh, and I have a folder titled “Published Papers” at work with .pdfs


  9. katiesci Says:

    I only have one paper so far but it is in Mendeley with the rest of my PIs papers. Easy to access with a quick search and already highlighted and annotated.


  10. DJMH Says:

    Folder of PDFs for myself or colleagues, folder of reprints for my grandma.


  11. gingerest Says:

    I used to have a folder with hard copies, because my short bench science career was back in the days when your boss got glossy reprints from the publisher, and people sent him requests on postcards, and three years later he’d say, “Here, nobody’s going to request these, take them and keep them somewhere, I need the room in my filing cabinet.”

    Now I just have an Endnote library and the miscellaneous electronic folders with all the drafts and analyses and shit.


  12. I have a “published versions of my papers” folder of PDFs within my PDF collection…nicely organized folder on my desktop with many subfolders.


  13. Crystaldoc Says:

    I have PDFs of published versions within individual folders for each manuscript that also contain all previous drafts, figures, correspondence, etc., but when I actually want to look something up I grab my 3-ring binder with dog-eared hard copies. These are not all in one binder, they are in topical binders that also include other groups’ papers that I use and cite a lot, but mine are right at the front.

    I do need a better system for collecting, annotating and filing PDFs (everybody’s, not just mine), but I don’t know how exactly to start because I already have 13 years of hard copies dating back to the start of my postdoc in 80 or so physical binders, and I don’t know how to integrate the old with the new (what year did I collect that one– do I look in the folder or the binder? What file naming system do I use– what if I don’t remember the name of the first author, or the last author, the year or the title or whatever?). Seriously, I need professional help. Suggestions welcome.


  14. Namnezia Says:

    “I have the three-ring-binder system.”



  15. scicurious Says:

    I should do this. I find myself having to pubmed myself otherwise.


  16. drugmonkey Says:

    Every time you go to the hard copy files, pull the PDF from the website and store it, crystaldoc.


  17. Beaker Says:

    Annotation is the only barrier to me going paperless. I’ve seen people at meetings annotating on tablets, but I still prefer a red pen and scribbling in the margins. And I don’t need to annotate my own papers, so no binder.

    To those who annotate electronically, what software do you use? Acrobat tries to be so many things that it does none of them well. I don’t think Papers makes annotation easy either. I am imagining a stylus or else a way to define a little text box that gets stored with the .pdf


  18. Namnezia Says:

    On an iPad: iAnnotate PDF.
    On a Mac: just use preview, simple and does the job of adding margin notes and highlighting

    Or use Acrobat Reader, simpler than full acrobat, can still annotate.


  19. miko Says:



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