Aru’s Org Capture Template (aocp.el)

Arumoy Shome

2021-06-16 Wed 01:03

After observing my workflow of managing bibliographic information in Emacs, I extracted the repeated actions into an Emacs package.

To gain some perspective on my workflow, see my prior article on my research workflow.

The package is available on github with two alternative installation methods: 1. By manually downloading the aocp.el file and sticking it in your Emacs load-path, or 2. Using straight.el which is what I recommend.

The package works under the assumption that you manage your bibliographic information in org-mode (a major-mode for Emacs). The functions made available through this package are intended to be used in an org-capture template, they are not meant to be called interactively (ie. by using M-x).

Assuming that you have a bibtex entry in your kill-ring (either by killing text within Emacs or by coping text from an external application into your clipboard), this package will do the following:

* TODO %(aocp--get-bibkey nil)
  :PDF: file:~/Documents/papers/%(aocp--get-bibkey t).pdf
  :FIRST_AUTHOR: %(aocp--get-first-author)
  :LAST_AUTHOR: %(aocp--get-last-author)
  :SOURCE: %(aocp--get-source)
+ problem statement ::
+ solution ::
+ results ::
+ limitations ::
+ remarks ::

  #+begin_src bibtex :tangle yes

Assuming you have the above template in paper.txt, you can configure org as follows (replace your-org-inbox-file appropriately):

(setq org-capture-templates
    '(("p" "Paper" entry (file+headline your-org-inbox-file "Inbox")

With this in place, you can quickly collect all bibliographic information within an org file. Leveraging the powerful functionality provided by org-properties, one can quickly find relevant papers. For instance, I can look up all papers by author X or all papers by author X published at Y.

A nice little tip is to download a local copy of the pdf and save them all in a folder. To make this easier, aocp.el also pushes the bibkey to the kill-ring. So all that is left to do is click the download button and paste the bibkey as the file name. This ensure 1. That you have all pdfs names consistently and 2. You have a link to the pdf from your org file (see the :PDF: property in the template above) which you can open by hitting C-c C-o over the link. You do not need to poke around in the directory containing the pdfs, all the context is available in the org file and should be the point of entry for all your bibliographic needs!