Paperpile: an open source reference manager for Mac and Linux

Last week the first public beta (version 0.5) of Paperpile was released (available for Mac and Linux). Paperpile is a desktop reference manager with typical features: search in PubMed, Google Scholar or ArXiv, import PDF files, support for BibTex and other standard file formates, etc. Paperpile currently doesn’t sync with a web-based version, and Paperpile doesn’t insert citations into manuscripts.

What is interesting about Paperpile is that the source code is available at github (using the GNU Affero General Public License). Other reference managers that make their source code available include Zotero, JabRef and Connotea.

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5 Responses to Paperpile: an open source reference manager for Mac and Linux

  1. Mike Fowler says:

    Thanks for another post on ref managers, Martin.
    I’m not too sure about the advantages of reference manager proliferation, even amongst open source options, especially when it offers less functionality than its competitors.
    Anything else about it that you can recommend over, e.g., Zotero (which I currently use)?

  2. Martin Fenner says:

    Mike, I agree that we already have a good number of choices. I think the strength of Paperpile is the handling of PDF files. It does importing of PDF files from your hard drive with automated citation matching and has an integrated PDF viewer. Paperpile has one important feature that I really miss in Mendeley and Zotero (and like in Endnote): matching of duplicate records.

    A Paperpile feature that I also like is “Live Folders and Feeds”. Journal table of contents RSS feeds are integrated into the reference manager. CiteULike also does this.

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  4. Nicola says:

    Hi Martin,

    I have just bought a mac and want to transfer an extensive pdf library from reference manager to my system – key priorities are storing/organising my papers, although i would like the cite while you write function if it is out there. Could you possibly recommend some software?


  5. Nicola, have you looked at my reference manager overview chart? Some of the tools listed there are free or have a trial version, so you can simply try them out for a few days.