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Footnotes and references

Helpful | Level 6

Please give us the possibility to place footnotes and references!


Current Status: New

Super User
Super User

Hi @leonardoc that's an interesting and useful feature idea!

There's probably a few ways to do this - do you have any examples/recommendations of best practice for this?


Helpful | Level 6

Hi @lukeyo 

Since I believe that Dropbox Papers runs on a Markdown engine, the minimum level would be to implement the Markdown way to specify footnotes, that is with a [^ref1] code that points to a text (or also a web link) in the footnote:

Here's a simple footnote,[^1] and here's a longer one.[^bignote]

[^1]: This is the first footnote.

[^bignote]: Here's one with multiple paragraphs and code.

The second step - which all scientists/academics would love* - would be to be able to insert a footnote/reference from PubMed or biorXiv and to give the possibility of having all the references at the end of the text, rather than in footnotes. (Actually, since Paper is web-based, footnotes and references would probably appear in the same way.) 

But if you really want to make it wonderful, in addition to this it would be great to have formatting for the references according to the styles of the journals.

A great example of a web-based system for automatically placing references in an online document is the integration between Google Docs and Paperpile.

* disclaimer: I am one of them...

Super User
Super User

Thank you, that is a great expansion of your suggestion! I hadn't heard of paperpile before, looks like a great product.

From what I've seen of integrations, Paper is more targeted to designers and other creative types, so I'm not sure if this will get made. But the best way to make it so is if enough people vote on your idea and then the DB team takes it up.

All the best


Helpful | Level 6

Hi @lukeyo 

I imagined that it was more targeted to designers, but you cannot imagine (or maybe you can) how great it is to use Papers for collaborative scientific reports! Much better than anything else I have tried! 

Besides, footnotes is something that every document might need - even a web page - so I really hope somebody will consider it.

Paperpile is the most versatile reference manager for Google Docs that I know. It allows you to just focus on writing, without having to click here and there or even have another program open (I am in no way affiliated with either of them)


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