Citing organisations in Papers 3.0

Organisations, rather than people, often co-author reports and other materials which should be cited and referenced in scientific work. After many trials and errors, I have finally resolved how to elegantly cite organisations with long names and short acronyms using Papers 3, my pdf organisation and reference management software (extensively covered on this site). 

When I enter an organisation as an author in Papers I specify both its abbreviation and full name as follows:


When I cite, I use citation modifiers so that my unformatted text may look as follows:

Until 1989, Germany was the third largest coal producer in the world {IEA *IEAInternationalEnergyAgency:2015tz} and according to WCA {*WCAWorldCoalAssociation:2014ub} it remains by far the largest producer of lignite.



After formatting the text and the bibliography look as follows:

Until 1989, Germany was the third largest coal producer in the world (IEA 2015) and according to WCA (2014) it remains by far the largest producer of lignite.


  1. IEA, International Energy Agency, 2015. IEA Energy Atlas. International Energy Agency Statistics. URL (accessed 10.25.15).
  2. WCA, World Coal Association, 2014. Coal statistics. World Coal Association website. URL (accessed 10.10.15).

I am very happy that the text only features abbreviations, but the bibliography shows both abbreviations and the full organisation’s name.


About Aleh Cherp

Aleh Cherp is a professor at Central European University and Lund University. He researchers energy and environment and coordinates MESPOM, a Masters course operated by six Universities.
This entry was posted in Bibliographies, Writing and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Citing organisations in Papers 3.0

  1. Micah says:

    Very helpful tip. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tudor Eynon says:

    Nice to see you blogging again Aleh.


  3. Rahul says:

    Thanks for the tip. Love your blog.

    Would you mind if I asked a question? Do you also use Papers on iOS? One of my favorite features of the computer version is that you can use an external PDF editor. Is there a good workflow for getting PDF’s out, annotated, then back into on the iOS version.

    Thanks again!


    • Aleh Cherp says:

      Good question. I use Papers on iOS and I do sync annotations but I don’t use external PDF editors in this case. Have you tried? Were annotations transferred?


      • Rahul says:

        I tried using PDF Expert and it doesn’t show the annotations within Papers. I’m sure they are still in there somewhere, but not readily visible. More importantly, when it gets reimported I now have 2 copies in Papers. The Mac version lets me open in an external editor (which is SOOO nice). Thanks.


      • Yuan says:

        I use ISO too. I don’t see too much need to use external PDF editors.


  4. Francis says:

    Good tip, I always have problems with the name of Institutions such IEA or WHO. I guess now is time to do a spring cleaning of my database. Thanks!!


  5. Charles says:

    Is Papers a good replacement for Sente?


    • Yuan says:

      YES. Two years ago I use Sente and then change to Papers. Papers is the most updated and most powerful. Especially the citation function. Also enjoy the layout for myself.


      • Admin says:

        Yuan, how did you manage the import of your library from Sente to Papers. Did you re-enter your keywords manually?


      • Yuan says:

        Yes. I am kind of lucky when changing to Papers with very small Sente database.
        Compared to Papers, I am more disappointed that Sente seems not updated with the last two years!


      • Admin says:

        Thank you for Yuan. I agree re: Sente. First the forum disappeared then the blog. Sente has not answered my emails. This is very disappointing. Sente has a duty towards its customers: instead of leaving customers in the dark, Sente should team up with Devonthink or integrate with Papers/ReadCube.


  6. Admin says:

    I am quite concerned by the disappearance of Sente’s blog (users forums were taken down months ago). I would prefer to update to a ref manager with QDA capabilities (such as being able to tag and organize notes).


  7. Charles says:

    Papers 3 has been out of beta for 3 years now. Yet, it still has some rough corners (e.g. the ‘read’ and ‘cite’ buttons disappear when the article’s title is long). The most frustrating aspect of Papers 3 is the fact it still can’t import keywords/tags from Sente/EndNote the way Papers 2 used to. The MacOS app is also surprisingly unpolished when compared to the iOS app. What’s going on at Labtiva?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Csaba Pusztai says:

    If only citekeys were automatically shortened to just the acronym to avoid superfluous text in the draft.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s