Inspector - Matching

There are different ways of adding new documents to your Papers library. Sometimes your papers will contain metadata, and sometimes they might not. If you are importing a paper directly from a repository by searching within Papers, you are more likely to also import the metadata that belongs to it, than if you drag and drop a pdf into Papers from another location on your harddrive. If metadata is missing, or incomplete, you can use the matching function in Papers.

Having complete metadata will help you find any file in your growing library, regardless of what tiny detail about the article you can remember. All imported articles are automatically 'matched' by Papers, but sometimes some metadata might still be missing. You can use the matching function to find additional metadata for any of your publications.

Matching articles in Papers

After an article is imported to your library it may not contain complete meta data. If you encounter an article like this, you can click on 'edit' in the inspector window, and follow these steps to match your article:

  • Papers will detect when metadata is likely missing, and in these cases you will see the following question in the inspector window: "Does the above metadata match the PDF?" In this case, click on "No"


  • Papers will ask you for a confirmation to clear the metadata, when you click on "yes" all information in the inspector is cleared and you can start the matching process.

  • Now, you can click on the "Match" button next to start the matching process.


  • A preview window with your article and a search window will open. You can select some of the text of the article to use in your search. Typically, you might select the title, author, or journal name. In this case we selected the title, and immediately a window pops up asking you to define where Papers should search for the selected text. Here we would select "Title".


  • By default, matching is done using Google Scholar, but you can select another repository to match from the base of the inspector window. Selecting a more specialized repository that fits the subject area of your article will most likely return more detailed metadata.


  • Next, click on the search icon to start your search. From the results you can select the entry that matches your article and click on the "Match" button.

Papers has now imported the metadata available for your article.