Titles for journal article files

This isn’t directly an Obsidian question, but a question that relates to integrating Obsidian with other inputs.

For those who are downloading/saving a lot of professional journal articles, do you have a naming convention for the article files themselves (the PDFs)? Some of them download by default with names that make sense, like the article titles or DOIs (although even if it’s the DOI, you can’t tell without opening it what the document is about). But a lot of them are downloading as silly things like “viewcontent.pdf”.

I currently, in my inbox, have files called 1577.pdf, PIIS187628592200417X.pdf, ciasuseofjournal00unit.pdf, and viewcontent.pdf – all of which are the same basic type of content file.

If I’m going to reference these from within Obsidian, it would be nice to have some consistency of naming – at least for the ones I have to rename from “viewcontent.”

Mine is “LastName+First 2 words of title+Year”

So for instance VaswaniAttentionAll2018.pdf

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I only create a file in Obsidian for articles that are part of a literature review. At the end of or at some point during my review, I generate a table using Dataview to reference key information from each article, using the following template. Not all fields are used to populate the Dataview table; I mix and match depending on the project and what my needs are:

# Title

# Summary

summary:: RATIONALE. A DISCIPLINE study using APPROACH to determine whether X. Data collection was conducted via STRATEGY from SOURCE in GEOGRAPHY and analyzed using ANALYSIS METHOD AND TOOL. Findings were interpreted from a lens of PARADIGM, with the result that IMPLICATIONS. The findings suggest X which contributes to Y by establishing Z.

# Critique


# Implications

connections:: This informs PROJECT by




# Notes

In this case, my files for academic articles get the following file names: academic-source_author_YYYY_title

This is because I don’t often use folders, and like the ability to sort my files by (1) type, then by (2) author and finally (3) year of publication. It is the same naming convention for articles I myself have written.

But if the article is not part of a formal literature review which I intend to publish, I create atomic notes (I just call them research notes) for individual claims, concepts, findings, etc. I use a brief statement as the filename, and the statement begins with the primary topic being addressed, e.g., sustainable agriculture depends on X or sustainable community design for rural communities integrates X or dark matter is really cool.

These research notes take the following format:

  - is/research-note
My interpretation of a finding, a claim about a topic, a reaction to an event, etc. #on/topic

(Duplicate this paragraph as needed) What evidence or reasoning others have provided to support this claim, how these data were gathered, and how they support the claim `OR` further interpretation of the entry (Name, YYYY).


- [[related ideas]]


# References

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. _Title of Periodical_, _volume number_(issue number), pages. URL

> Quote from source material

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. _Title of Periodical_, _volume number_(issue number), pages. URL

> Quote from source material

Note that I do not link the in-text citations and the full references are added to the file on an on-going basis; I do not always create individual files for references to link to from research notes. If I decided for some reason that I wanted to link the in-text citations I would create files for these articles and add the in-text citation Name, YYYY as aliases and link to them from the unlinked mentions.

But, as I said, it isn’t necessary for me to create files for every research article unless they are part of a literature review I intend to publish. It matters more to me that the claims I add to my vault as individual research notes contain the reference. The reason I do this is because (1) it saves me from having to click into the articles’ file to see the full citation (for inclusion in the reference list of a draft) and (2) it reduces the total number of files in my vault, which is always desirable because I frequently change my templates etc and OCD compels me to reflect the changes in all existing files which takes time. That being said, I’m quite satisfied with this way of doing things and don’t plan on additional changes.

I’m sure there are more effective ways to do things, but this is how I go :slight_smile:

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Thanks. To be clear, I’m not asking about what to call the note in Obsidian; I’m asking about what to call the PDF file that is the paper itself, so that when I want to tell myself in Obsidian where to find it, I know what I’m looking for.

Haha sorry for misunderstanding. In that case my reply is the same but much shorter: academic-source_author_YYYY_title

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Thank you! I wish the industry would just use a standardized naming system in the first place!

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