Paperpile authenticates securely with your Google Account. Our servers never access your password or store it anywhere.

It also connects to your Google Drive, but cannot access your personal data — only files you upload via Paperpile.

And of course, we won't share your e-mail address with anyone.

Google Account Permissions

It's a central idea of our products to improve your productivity through the integration with the Google Apps you love and use daily. That's why Paperpile connects to your Google account and interacts with some of your Google services.

We only access information from your Google account as described in our Privacy Policy. We limit the access to your Google account as much as technically possible and only access information with a well defined purpose.

In the following we describe in detail how Paperpile interacts with your Google account. For general information about third party access to your Google account see:

and passwords

Our sign-in process is handled through your Google account. Paperpile follows the guidelines provided by Google for the secure OAuth 2.0 authentication and authorization protocol. At no time Paperpile has access or stores any passwords associated with your Google account.

Granting and revoking permission to access your Google Services

If you choose to sign-in to Paperpile via your Google account, you will be asked explicitly to grant permission to access certain information and services associated with this Google account. Paperpile never has access to any of your account information unless you give us access at this point. You can review the permissions and choose to deny access. Also, you can revoke the access at any later point here:

Permissions for different Paperpile services

Web application

You can use our web application at to organize your academic literature. You will be asked for the following permissions:

  • View your email address and basic profile info: We use your email address to identify you and to communicate with you as outlined in the Privacy Policy. We use your name and profile picture to personalize the experience for you and identify you to others when you choose to share content. Of course we do not share your email with anyone.
  • View and manage Google Drive files and folders that you have opened or created with this app: Paperpile uploads PDF of articles and other files to your Google Drive. Paperpile cannot access any other of your personal Google Docs or Files except those you have uploaded with Paperpile.

Optional and asked separately only when you are using our sharing features:

  • View your contacts: It helps you to share content with your colleagues (e.g. by quickly sending them an article by email or inviting them to shared folders). We never transfer your contacts on our servers (they remain on your local computer) and we never send emails to your contacts unless explicitly initiated by you.

Chrome extension

To use our web application you also need to install our Chrome browser extension. The Chrome extension is not optional because it provides critical functionality for the web application (e.g. downloading PDF articles from websites and storing files locally for fast access). Our Chrome extension requires the following permissions:

  • Read and change all your data on the websites you visit (http://* and https://*). One of Paperpile's core functions is to import bibliographic data and PDF files from websites (e.g. PubMed or Google Scholar). That's only possible if Paperpile can read the information on websites you are visiting. No information other than the bibliographic data you want to add to your library is accessed or transmitted to our servers.
  • Read your browsing history (tabs): To manage the workflow between tabs, Paperpile needs access to the URLs opened in your tabs (e.g. switch between the Paperpile webapp and the PDF viewer; interact with databases such as PubMed or Google Scholar). You browsing history remains on your computer and is not transferred to our servers.
  • Modify data you copy and paste (clipboardWrite): Enables you to copy and paste citations from the Paperpile web application to other applications. The information you copy and paste remains on your computer and is never transferred to our servers.
  • webRequest and webRequestBlocking: Enables Paperpile to download bibliographic data and PDF files from publishers' websites.
  • storage: Enables Paperpile to save various application settings.
  • unlimitedStorage: Enables Paperpile to save your library of downloaded PDFs locally for fast access. You can always clean up locally saved files in Settings.
  • contextMenus: Enables Paperpile to import papers via a right-click on hyperlinks.

Google Docs integration

Our Google Docs integration allows you to format citations and bibliographies in your Google Documents. For that purpose we use a so-called "Apps Script", a small program that runs on Google's servers. Before it's first run you are asked to give the following permissions:

  • View and manage your Google Docs documents: The Apps Scripts needs access to your document so it can read the citations you added and insert a bibliography.
  • Connect to an external service: The bibliography is created on Paperpile's server so the Apps Script sends citation codes to our servers (=external service). We also save the identifier and name of the document to keep track of your manuscripts you manage with Paperpile. We never transfer the content of your documents to our servers, they remain private to you.

Our Google Docs sidebar add-on offers a few more functions and requires the following additional permissions:

  • Display and run third-party web content in prompts and sidebars inside Google applications: That's the permission to show our add-on in your sidebar.
  • View and manage the files in your Google Drive: The add-on allows you to export your documents with BibTeX and EndNote formatted citations. It writes those files to your Google Drive. The add-on only creates new files and never reads any of your existing Google Drive files.

It's completely optional to use our Google Docs integration. The permissions in this section are not required to use our web application or the Chrome extension.

All your papers in one place. Nice and tidy.