Paperpile: A new kid on the block

March 17th, 2010 by dario

The first public beta of Paperpile–the latest entry in the crowded arena of free reference management software–has been recently announced. As I write, a test version is available for Linux, but Mac and Windows versions should be released soon. From the screenshots gallery, it looks like Paperpile will feature a streamlined (although quite typical) 3-column interface, support for tags/labels as well as the standard Web import functionality from online bibliographic databases.

paperpile screenshot

It will be interesting to see how this software compares with cross-platform biggies such as Mendeley or established tools for specific environments such as BibDesk or JabRef.

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7 Responses to “Paperpile: A new kid on the block”

  1. OliverNo Gravatar Says:

    To me this looks very similar to the Mac application ‘Papers’ ( which has a similar interface; and presumably does pretty much the same things.

  2. SharafNo Gravatar Says:

    I wonder if it will be open source.

  3. juanNo Gravatar Says:

    looks nice. but i still prefer jabref and sciplore mindmapping (you introduced that recently in your blog under the name “freemind scholar”). however, i am also thinking of switching to mendeley as i love their automatic metadata extraction (though quite buggy). to me the perfect solution would be mendeley + sciplore.

  4. Fr.No Gravatar Says:

    Quick update: Paperpile will be out for Mac OS X in some weeks, but only for 64bit Intel. It looks very promising, but you need a pretty recent machine to run it!

    Otherwise, I have never been a Zotero fan because I use Safari and Google Chrome, not Firefox—but they seem to have some plans to develop both Chrome support, and a standalone version.

    This might make up for great competition between already excellent software. Right now, my opinion is that BibDesk remains hard to beat, due to its excellent keyword and file management, plus, to some minor extent, CiteULike integration and RTF/HTML/etc. templates.

  5. Rob OakesNo Gravatar Says:

    Rather than yet another reference manager, I’d really like to see someone create a truly fantastic Cite-While-You-Write extension. There are already some two dozen reference managers out there (including commercial and open source varieties), but there are only three really good Cite-While-You-Write systems: EndNote, LaTeX, and Nota-Bene (alright, four if you count Zotero, but I find it to be really hit and miss). (For a table that looks at several of the more common, see

    Academic reference managers is a really small market, and I just can’t imagine that there is that there is a market for this many contenders (especially where Zotero/EndNote/Mendeley are all very mature pieces of software with an excellent feature set).

    But a killer Cite-While-You-Write system that would work the same in Word, OpenOffice and Pages … now that would be phenomenal.

    PS, I totally agree re: BibDesk for Mac users. Great program. And it’s the only BibTeX editor I’m aware of that will allows for you to cite references in MS Word, Pages and LaTeX. (Though the number of available styles for Pages is truly sad.)

  6. FrankNo Gravatar Says:

    Hi all,
    yes that looks indeed promising. I can only hope they will add some decent medadata support with the option to embed/write reference data for the PDF as XMP into the files themselves.

  7. MarkNo Gravatar Says:

    For an earlier poster: it is in fact open-source (or at least an “open source edition” exists) — see

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