A kind of tag?

I have a Research Database that consists of books and articles. Each book is it’s own Group, and each Chapter is its own Document in that Group.

I’m now ready to start creating a whole new set of Groups based on subjects. So I’m going to go through each of the books and articles and copy those paragraphs that deal with, say, the 17th century and paste those selections into a 17th century Group. Another group will be for selections dealing with the 18th century.

The problem, of course, is that once I copy a paragraph from the Books folder and paste it into a document in the Subjects folder, it won’t be identifiable as having come from a certain book and chapter unless I tag it so. I can do this in the Document Name or Comment, but I’m wondering if there’s some way to have a bit of metadata embedded into the original document (a Chapter in the Book folder) that goes with each selection no matter where it’s copied to.

Is there a way to do this?

If I’m understanding your goals (I’m not certain I’m following), is it possible to use a Smart Group for this situation? I’ve used this for sorting business receipts. I’ve got a 2008, 2007, 2006, etc… folder sets then broken down by month.

I then set a Smart Folder called, say, “OfficeMax” and all my OfficeMax receipts, regardless of year show up in one folder, while the originals stay in the original hierarchy.

Alas, that won’t work. Say I have one long document - a chapter in a research book - I would take part of the 2nd paragraph and assign it to one subject folder, and parts of paragraphs 4-5 and assign it to another subject folder, etc. What I’m looking for is some way to “tag” the excerpts so that when they’re in their subject folders, they’re identified as to what book and chapter folders they came from. I need to do this for annotating, footnoting, bibliography, etc.

I want to the same thing. I have not found any piece of software that can perform this very simple and basic hypertext trick. I find that amazing, in a bad way :angry:

When I copy an excerpt from a reference, I simply add a note to myself in the new rich text document, referring to the Author, Name, and page number.If it’s a document without page numbers, such as HTML or a long text document, I note a searchable cue string that, with a Lookup search, will quickly take me to the place where the excerpt exists in the source document.

Nothing mysterious, nothing new. It’s a “stronger” approach than a hyperlink approach (although my note may include one or more hyperlinks), as my excerpt note stands alone, even outside my database (and will ultimately be used outside my database). It provides most or all of the information I might need for footnoting the excerpt. I’ll probably do still more in this rich text document, perhaps a summary of how I’ll use the excerpt, or even a draft segment of my writing project in which the excerpt is important. I do my draft writing inside the database, then move the drafts to a more competent word processor for final polishing, headers & footers, footnotes/endnotes, etc.

In many respects my workflows are like those forty years ago, when I worked on a massive three-volume bibliography on Science, Technology and Public Policy and a related three volume series of graduate program syllabi on those topics with Lynton K. Caldwell, both publications funded by the National Science Foundation. But those workflows are incredibly faster and easier inside DEVONthink. No stacks of shoeboxes containing thousands of index cards grouped by rubber bands, No stacks of paper containing the text sections and referring to the index cards, all requiring complex assembly for final typing of the publications.

Almost, but not quite there then…
Now, if only DevonThink could generate that cue string, and also a have one-key-shortcut to do the lookup, then that would do the trick… good enough, I think.

EDIT: Sorry, didn’t see the other huge thread on Skim. But that doesn’t change my opinion of course…

A good idea for PDFs would be to integrate Skim.

Skim nicely keeps track of notes and citations in a sidebar, with the possibility to go back to where the note was in the text.

Now, if those notes were at the same time available inside DevonThink, to categorize, edit, and move around, but linked to the PDF… that would be something.