I have recently been asked to prepare one of the Oxford Bibliographies. This required sifting through, organizing and annotating a large number of references and so I decided to give Papers 3.0 another try. I have previously been disappointed by various deficiencies of this new version. It seems, however, that the programming team has been working hard updating the (still beta) version. So my impression is cautiously optimistic.
First, it looks there is some attention to how pdf files are organized: the evidence is in Help → Troubleshooting which contains several esoteric but re-assuring commands (I tried them all but did not observe any effect – either good or bad):
To me, these commands indicate that Papers 3 want Spotlight to see files in their library. Very good news! Unfortunately Spotlight still cannot find all of the files within Papers 3 package (but it does find some!). I also tried to index Paper 3 package with DevonThink, but the results are still not reliable.
I managed to achieve some peace of mind by trying FoxTrot search on Papers’ Library. It had absolutely no problem finding all files by any search criteria. I am still not prepared to invest a considerable sum in buying FoxTrot search, hoping that Papers will make its library more accessible for lay search engines.
Other than that I have managed to smoothly manage all my references. I have been pretty impressed by the ability of Papers 3 to connect to my University’s library and smoothly deliver pdfs from publishers’ websites right into my hands. Though Papers 3 has many exciting possibilities, I still do not recommend it for people who don’t like experimenting with their precious bibliographic collections. There are minor bugs here and there and support documentation is not yet available. All in all, it remains a beta version, but the hope for its successful completion is steadily growing.