Academic writing - Exporting with sources

Hi everyone,

I’m a new MarginNote user, moving from LiquidText. When I first started using MN, I did not plan to make a switch, as I really missed the organic way LT deals with PDFs, especially with the possibility to pinch the files and to focus on highlights. Even though I miss that, I must admit MN is way superior in many ways, and it provides me with several very powerful resources I like.

I’m an academic, and I usually rely on a reference manager to organize and read my source material. With that, I already have thousands of books and papers sorted out, read and with highlights and notes. In my workflow now I import them to MarginNote, and I use my original notes to excerpt the parts of several sources to a big mindmap. Right now, for example, I have around 30 sources generating a huge interconnected mindmap with over 200 excerpts that will be part of a paper I’m writing.

I love the way you can organize ideas, and mix and match a lot of sources, either by linking or merging excerpts and my own notes around the structure I want for a new paper or book chapter. My next step is then to export the map as text/word, paste into a LaTeX document and write over it, rephrasing the ideas, keeping excerpts as direct or indirect citations, and filling the blanks with my own content. For that, I need to keep track of each source for each excerpt (document of origin and page), and this is where I have a problem.

When I export the final map from MarginNote to any text format, there is no source mentioned. So, I end up with hundreds of excerpts and I don’t know where they came from. So, I would either need to edit each excerpt to manually include the source (which would be so tedious it would defeat the whole benefit of MN) or I would have to keep going back and forth between MN and LaTeX to, excerpt by excerpt, locate the source.

I have, through the forum, found a workaround: exporting to Omnioutline, as it includes source document and link (with the page number). Now, I export the whole map to Omni, then export to Excel, then create a formula to combine the document name with the page, ignoring the MN link, then export everything back to text. It works, but this is not a proper workflow to keep.

So, I come here for help. Any suggestions on a better way to get my exports to show source information (document name and page number) for each excerpt?

And since we’re here, any suggestions regarding my workflow that is:

  1. Import previously highlighted and annotated source documents;
  2. Excerpting relevant ideas / paragraphs / images;
  3. Interconnecting excerpts in a mindmap structure that makes sense for my research;
  4. Export results to text, as a base for my writing.


André Brasil

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