Sharing papers with colleagues

Note: A new version of Paperpile is coming in summer 2024. Please visit our temporary new Help Center until these pages are updated.

To quickly share papers, select some items from your library and click Share > Share via Link or Email in the toolbar. The following dialog will appear:

Your papers are ready to share — just copy the unique sharing link and send it to your colleagues. Everyone with the link can view the papers online (no Paperpile account is required).

You can also enter an email address in the "Send an email" area to have Paperpile send an email on your behalf. To include a customized message or subject line, click Add a message below the email address field.

When you email a paper with Paperpile your colleagues will receive a message listing the first few items and a link to the entire set of shared papers. If available, each paper includes a link to the publisher's website and to your personal copy of the PDF in Google Drive.

Shared folders

Sharing with a link is quick and easy, but if you want to add or remove papers from a shared collection or collaborate on a shared reference list with other Paperpile users, then a shared folder is the way to go.

Shared folders work just like regular folders in Paperpile, except that multiple users have access to the folder and can add and remove papers. Create shared folders for journal clubs, reading groups, or to collaboratively collect references for your next manuscript.

Create a shared folder

To create a shared folder, click the button next to the Shared Folders area in the left pane. Alternatively, you can select a few items in your library and choose Share > Create New Shared Folder:

Paperpile will create a new folder and pre-populate it with your selected items (if applicable).

Invite collaborators to shared folders

Click Manage sharing to invite new collaborators. The following dialog will appear:

Each folder gets a unique link to share — this can be shared with anyone, and provides a read-only view of the items in your folder. To give other Paperpile users the ability to add and remove items to and from your shared folder, add their email addresses to the "Invite collaborators" area.

Click Save to update the folder's sharing settings. Email notifications will be sent, and your collaborators will see the shared folder the next time they open Paperpile.

Note: When you add collaborators to a shared folder, use the same e-mail address they use for their Paperpile account. This is usually their personal or institutional GMail address. If you add someone using a non-Paperpile email address, they will show up in the access list without name or photo. To fix this, remove the non-Paperpile email and add their correct address.

Working with shared folders

Anyone with access to a shared folder can do the following:

  • Manage who has access: all collaborators on a shared folder have permission to add or remove collaborators through the "Manage Sharing" dialog. The only exception is that nobody can remove the folder's owner. Since all collaborators are given equal access, be sure to only invite people who you know and trust.
  • Add or remove papers to or from a folder: add papers easily by dragging one or more selected papers onto the shared folder, or alternatively by selecting one or more papers and choosing Share > Add to Shared Folder from the toolbar. To remove papers from a shared folder, make a selection and choose Remove from Folder from the toolbar. You can remove any paper from a shared folder, including ones not added by you.
  • Add or remove subfolders: click the context menu  next to a shared folder and choose Add Subfolder to add a new folder below the selected folder.
  • Copy papers to your personal library: you may often want to take an article shared by a colleague and save a copy in your own library for future reading, organization or note-taking. Paperpile makes this easy by showing three different icons for papers in a shared folder:
    • You added this paper to the shared folder. Click the icon to view it in your library.

    • Another user has added this paper to the shared folder, so you may add a copy to your personal library. Click the button to copy a single paper, or select one or more papers and choose Add to Library from the toolbar. Paperpile will copy the paper and any available attachments (learn how this works) to your personal Paperpile library.

    • You have a copy of this paper in your library. Click the icon to view your copy of the paper.

This is an example of three papers with three different states: added by you, added by another user, and added by another user with a linked copy in your library:

It is your responsibility to respect the intellectual property rights of the owners of any work that you organize within Paperpile. You may only share content with other users (including article PDFs, text, and supplementary files) if you have the right to do so. You can share papers if you are the copyright owner, have the copyright owner’s permission, are permitted to do so under your publishing agreement or your institution’s license agreement or under license from an Open Access database or under a Creative Commons license.

For more information, be sure to read through our terms of service before using Paperpile's sharing features.

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