Qiqqa Organizes Academic Papers, A Student’s Best Friend [Windows]

Justin Pot 25-08-2011

organize academic papersGet your massive collection of academic papers under control so you can get to work actually writing. Qiqqa is a document management program built from the ground up for academics, making it a must-have tool for students and professors everywhere. Set Qiqqa up now and be ready to head back to school.


Journal articles are just as relevant in the academic world today as they’ve ever been, but fewer and fewer people actually handle a physical journal on a day-to-day basis. Instead students and professors are amassing ever-growing folders of PDF files containing the papers they need to do their job. These files are convenient in many ways but the more papers you collect the harder it is to find anything.

Featuring quality OCR and a searchable document library complete with metadata (author, subjects, tags and more), Qiqqa makes organizing your PDF files a snap. Add an indexed way to add comments and markup pages and you’ll quickly realize that this is the tool you’ve been looking for.

Your Library

Start up Qiqqa and you’ll see a summary of your library, along with a collection of links to learn how to better use Qiqqa:

organize academic papers

You’ll also notice that there is a tabbed interface. This means you can open various documents at once, which is useful while writing.


Open the library and you’ll see your PDF collection:

organize papers

All of your papers are presented here, assuming you’ve added them. Adding files to this library is easy. You can set Qiqqa to watch a folder on your computer for new files; do this and any files added to that folder will be in your library. Alternatively, you can add files individually or add entire folders of files.

Once you build your collection you can scroll through to find a specific paper if you’d like. Alternatively, you can use the search function:


organize papers

This is probably the quickest way to find what you’re looking for, but it is by no means the only way. You can also break your library down using metadata:

organize papers

Above you can see the papers organized according to whether or not they’ve been read. As you can see there are a variety of other options, including authors, publications, year and tags. Some PDFs include this information but most don’t; you’ll have to add metadata to the files to use these tools.


Getting Metadata

Luckily Qiqqa also includes a brilliant way of collecting metadata. It requires some input from you, but will ultimately save you a lot of time when you’re searching for documents and when you’re building a bibliography later. This video tutorial outlines everything nicely:

Reading PDF Files

Qiqqa comes with a built-in PDF reader, of course:

organize academic writing


From here you can read the way you usually would, with a few bonuses. You can highlight text and add notes; these notes are then indexed for easy reference. In fact, all text in all the PDFs you add to Qiqqa are indexed; even PDFs made from scanned documents. This is possible because Qiqqa comes with very good OCR technology.

This is put to good use. For example, Qiqqa can automatically determine the title of a paper by looking for the biggest words on the front page of the paper. This same concept is used to automatically generate a table of contents for any file that doesn’t have one, a feature that can save you a lot of time.

Other Features

If you’re working on a paper you might want to visualize your ideas alongside the sources that inspired them. Qiqqa includes a tool for this:

organize academic papers

This isn’t that different from other mind mapping software The 6 Best Free Mind Map Tools (And How to Best Use Them) Mindmapping helps you brainstorm and connect concepts and ideas. Here are the best free mind map tools and software. Read More , except that you can directly reference the papers from which you’re drawing ideas.

Another feature worth mentioning is online syncing. You need to purchase a user account to really make use of this, but for academics with multiple computers it could be a godsend. It’s even possible to browse your papers online.

Download Qiqqa

Ready to download Qiqqa? Visit the Qiqqa homepage to find out how.

Want to see Qiqqa in action before you download anything? Watch the following video; it goes over all the features mentioned above and more:

You can find more Qiqqa tutorial videos here.


I’m not an academic; at least, not anymore. My wife Kathy is though, and it was her quest to organize papers that made me aware of Qiqqa. She is a physics graduate student and uses the software all the time; she tells me it’s extremely useful and I can certainly see why.

I want to know what you think, though. Is Qiqqa a good way to manage documents, or is there a better one? Let me know in the comments below, as always. I love learning from you guys.

Related topics: Digital Document, Education Technology, OCR, Organization Software, PDF, Study Tips.

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  1. Anonymous
    August 26, 2011 at 10:16 am

    Thanks for introducing Qiqqa. Will give it a go.

    • Justin Pot
      August 26, 2011 at 12:32 pm

      Let us know how you like it. 

    • Aibek
      August 27, 2011 at 9:43 am

      let us know your thoughts once you have tried it

  2. Anonymous
    August 25, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    I'm with Mark, I use Evernote. However, if there was something like Qiqqa for the Mac, I would check it out. 

  3. Nik@Qiqqa
    August 25, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    Thanks a lot for the coverage Justin! Our aim is to take the pain out of managing PDFs so academics and researchers can focus on the actual content and get better results, quicker.   All feedback very welcome.

  4. Mark Anthony Cianfrani
    August 25, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    Make Use Of. . . . Evernote?

  5. AR
    August 25, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Hands down, the best academic paper organizing software is Mendeley. It has a very clean interface, enormous amounts of features, and is just better than anything else. I'd tell your wife to give Mendeley a try.

    • Justin Pot
      August 25, 2011 at 8:49 pm

      She just told me that she looked into Mendeley, and that it didn't have the features she wanted. I might write it up soon, though.