Day: January 23, 2011

Reviewing Paperpile 0.5 beta

paperpile logo

Paperpile is a nice software which hit the 0.5 beta version some days ago. It’s been a while that I’m using it and being in the full swing of writing my Thesis, I tend to use it on daily basis, so I decided to review it a bit.

First of all Paperpile is a reference manager, which help to manage, organize, cite and share the collection of scientific papers that you have on your computer. If you do science you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you don’t, imagine you have at least 200 different articles lying on your hard drive, which analyse different but related subjects. When writing a new research article, it’s necessary to cite all the relevant previous work to put you new work in contest. It’s the incremental delta of new information which science uses to evolve (when there is not a quantum leap).

Retrieving, organizing and citing those piece of work is necessary and can be a daunting task, but a good reference manager can help to make your life easier. There are several softwares out there, and I had different experiences, however it seems Paperpile is overcoming anything else and I’m using it productively, making me even to read more papers!

So let’s jump into it.

Paperpile general

General view of Paperpile

This is the general window of paperpile. On the Top left you can see the label la gmail. More than one label can be added to a paper and different background/foreground colour can be used to personalize it. To add an existing label to a paper just pick and drag it over it. Super easy.

On the Mid right you can add the RSS from journals, which can help you to be updated with the latest articles published. I used to have this RSS in my google reader, however having it directly in paperpile makes super easy to import new papers and collect the pdf.

Bottom right there is a collection of different tool, from being able to search Pubmed to import a directory full of PDF.

Central window is where the meat is. All the paper, ordered by addiction Date (you can change to what you prefer) and the most important feature: the search box. Paperpile implements a search as you type system, so as soon you start to type it it start to search in author title and also abstract.

One very interesting bit is that the search box actually find the article I’m usually looking for, and it’s pretty precise. It really saves me a lot of time. This is a clear edge over Mendeley for example, where the search was a disaster. At least in the version I’ve used so far.

The central window also give you the possibility to add notes to a paper.

On top left there are very useful actions which paperpile can perform for you. Paperpile makes easy to retrieve the article on to the publisher site, either giving you a link to visit the webpage or can automatically fetch the paper for you. Sweet!

Another very useful features, which I used so far at least 3 times, is the automatically generated email, which fire up an already ready to send email to your colleagues with the citation reference.

One last thing that I would like to put under the light is the LaTeX integration. With an easy Ctrl-K the label will be copied in your clipboard ready to be pasted in your LaTeX file. If you need the more standard citation, Ctrl-C will do.

To set up the automatically synch for your bibtex database just click on All Papers, on the top-left and turn it on, choosing the location for the file. After that every new paper you’ll add to your collection is automatically exported in BibTeX and you don’t have to care about it at all 🙂

Paperpile BiBTeX setting

Go and Check it out.

I would like to speak with Salvatore

On the guardian there is an article about about Berlusconi, where also Rocco Siffredi is questioned about the RubyGate and the possible effect on the number of votes.

If I get the article correctly it seems that Rocco is saying that Berlusconi will not loose vote for this behaviour. I’m always amazed when people can predict how and what people will behave in an election that is not yet issued, basing their judgement on one fact.

More over, in a youtube video, I remember that Rocco said that Berlusconi is ill and that he can help him. So I don’t know if he changed his opinion or the article is a bit imprecise.

However the number of voters for Berlusconi is a straw argoment.

Berlusconi has a pack of voters whom will vote for him no matter what. This is more like a cult problem than an actually political judgement of what the govern has achieved. This people exist and it will be stupid not to acknowledge that, however this is a fraction of all the voters in Italy.

A third of the country didn’t vote at the last elections. They didn’t vote neither for the right wing or for the left wing. Lack of proper representation it seems to be more the cause of this then not being interested in the politic of the country. What I would like to make clear is that there is a huge pool of possible voters, which could be called to get rid of Berlusconi.

But this is not what I wanted to write about. I would like to comment this sentence:

Salvatore, a blacksmith, said: “I would give my daughter a slap if she went to a party at Berlusconi’s, but I still vote for him since I approve of his politics.”

I really would like to understand what is this politics that he his talking about. The Berlusconi’s politics, in the last 14 years, was only escaping from the law using the power to create new law that will favour him (ad personam), or to change existing law. That’s not politics, that’s tilting the table.

So the number of people that actually vote for Berlusconi are either thinking he is a model or they are convinced he is doing good the job. The last part are completely recoverable because it will be easy to demonstrate that the government is unable to do its own job and its completely stopped.

There is a massive amount of people that could throw away Berlusconi. The only trouble is that the left wing did not yet find the way to organize those people in a coherent way and be able to challenge him.

Several different way are being tried, like We will see.