Privacy Policy

Your privacy is critically important to us. At Paperpile we have a few fundamental principles:

  • All content you store in Paperpile is private by default and only accessible by you unless you choose to share it with others.
  • We do not store personal information on our servers unless required for the on-going operation of one of our Services.
  • We do not store your credit card number. All payments are processed securely by Stripe, a payment provider trusted by thousands of small businesses.
  • Paperpile connects to your Google Account. We technically restrict this access as much as possible and we only ask for access to information necessary to run our Service. In particular our web app or Chrome extension do not have access to your e-mail or any files stored in Google Drive that you have not uploaded via Paperpile .
  • You can choose to import your Gmail contacts to send papers via email from within Paperpile. Your contacts will only be stored locally on your computer, never on our servers. We will never send emails to your contacts unless explicitly initiated by you when you share papers via email or invite collaborators to a shared folder.
  • You can choose to use our Google Docs add-on to insert and format citations in your Google documents. The add-on exlusively runs on Google's servers and only transmits the required citation codes of your document to our servers. The content of your documents will never be transmitted and private to you.
  • We do not share your personal information with anyone except to comply with the law, or protect our rights.

Below is our privacy policy which incorporates these goals:

First published on 3/28/2013. Updated on 01/11/2014.

Paperpile LLC operates the website It is Paperpile's policy to respect your privacy regarding any information we may collect while operating our websites and services.

Service Visitors

Like most website operators, Paperpile collects non-personally-identifying information of the sort that web browsers and servers typically make available, such as the browser type, language preference, referring site, and the date and time of each visitor's request. Paperpile's purpose in collecting non-personally identifying information is to better understand how Paperpile' visitors use our website. From time to time, Paperpile may release non-personally-identifying information in the aggregate, e.g., by publishing a report on trends in the usage of our Service and websites.

Paperpile also collects potentially personally-identifying information like Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. However, Paperpile does not use such information to identify its visitors and does not disclose such information, other than under the same circumstances that it uses and discloses personally-identifying information, as described below.

Paperpile uses Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. (“Google”). Google Analytics uses “cookies”, which are text files placed on your computer, to help the website analyze how users use the site. The information generated by the cookie about your use of the website (including your IP address) will be transmitted to and stored by Google on servers in the United States. Google will use this information for the purpose of evaluating your use of the website, compiling reports on website activity for website operators and providing other services relating to website activity and internet usage. Google may also transfer this information to third parties where required to do so by law, or where such third parties process the information on Google's behalf. Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google. You may refuse the use of cookies by selecting the appropriate settings on your browser, however please note that if you do this you may not be able to use the full functionality of this website. By using this website, you consent to the processing of data about you by Google in the manner and for the purposes set out above.

Paperpile uses Mixpanel, an advanced analytics service provided by Mixpanel, Inc. ("Mixpanel") that helps improve web and mobile applications by tracking how users interact and engage. Usage information and Personal Data is stored by Mixpanel and is subject to their privacy policy. You can view their privacy policy at

Paperpile uses Intercom, a third party communication and analytics service provided by Intercom, Inc. ("Intercom") to help understand your use of our services and to communicate with you by sending you service-related notifications in the Paperpile interface. Paperpile uses Intercom to collect data for analytics purposes when you use our services. Intercom analyzes your use of our website and/or service and our relationship with you, so that we can improve our services. For more information on the privacy practices of Intercom, please check Intercom’s services are governed by Intercom’s terms of use, which can be found at

Your Paperpile content (references, notes, files etc.) is not shared with Google Analytics, Mixpanel or Intercom.

Gathering of Personally-Identifying Information

Certain visitors to Paperpile's websites choose to interact with Paperpile in ways that require Paperpile to gather personally-identifying information. The amount and type of information that Paperpile gathers depends on the nature of the interaction. For example, we ask visitors who sign up for an account at Paperpile to provide a username and email address (directly or via their Google account, see below). Those who engage in financial transactions with Paperpile are asked to provide additional information, including as necessary the personal and financial information required to process those transactions. In each case, Paperpile collects such information only insofar as is necessary or appropriate to fulfill the purpose of the visitor's interaction with Paperpile. Paperpile does not disclose personally-identifying information other than as described below. Visitors can always refuse to supply personally-identifying information, with the caveat that it may prevent them from engaging in certain website-related activities.

Payment processing

Paperpile uses Stripe to process and manage payments. The use of your personal information by Stripe is governed by their privacy policy: Paperpile does not store credit card numbers at any time.

Paperpile and Google Services

The sign-in process to Paperpile is handled through the visitor's Google account. Paperpile follows the guidelines provided by Google for the secure OAuth 2.0 authentication and authorization protocol. At not time Paperpile has access or stores any passwords associated with the Google account. If a visitor chooses to sign-in to Paperpile via a Google account, the visitor will be asked explicitly to grant permission to access certain information and services associated with this Google account. The visitor can review the permissions and deny access at this point. In addition, the visitor can revoke the access at any later point here: Paperpile only asks for information or services required to run the Paperpile service and only has access to information the user has explicitly granted access to. Notably, Paperpile does not have - at any time - read or write access to the visitor's e-mail data in Gmail or any data stored in Google Drive except files that have been uploaded to Google Drive by the user via the Paperpile service. You can optionally import your contacts from Gmail into Paperpile. The sole purpose of this function is to make it easier for you to send papers by email to your contacts or invite your contacts to shared folders. Paperpile stores your contact list only locally on your computer. Your contact list is never sent to Paperpile's servers or stored there. Paperpile will never send emails to your contacts unless explicitly initiated by you when you share papers with the email function or invite your contacts to a shared folder.

Browser Extensions

Paperpile provides downloadable software that can be installed in the visitor's web-browser ("Chrome Extension"). The main purpose of the Chrome extension is to enable advanced functionality on third party sites such as PubMed or Google Scholar. The Chrome Extension accesses third party sites with the purpose to search for scientific documents or reference data. No other data is accessed or transmitted to the Paperpile's servers.

Google Docs plugin

The Google Docs plugin allows the users of Paperpile to format citations and bibliographies in their Google Documents. For that purpose it uses a so-called "Apps Script", a small program that runs on Google's servers. The Apps Script has access to the content of the Google Document. However, it does not transmit any content to the Paperpile servers beyond what is technically necessary. At the moment only the name of the document and the list of citations are transmitted to the Paperpile servers.

The Apps Script needs to be authorized separately from the user's Paperpile account and if the user chooses not to authorize the Apps Script the Paperpile Service remains fully functional with the exception of the functions of the Google Docs plugin. More information on Apps Scripts is available here. No other component of the Paperpile Service has access to the content of the user's Google Documents.

Aggregated Statistics

Paperpile may collect statistics about the behavior of visitors to its websites. For instance, Paperpile may monitor the most popular public Content on the Paperpile Service or use usage statistics to measure how our user base grows. Paperpile may display this aggregated, non-personalized information publicly or provide it to third parties. However, Paperpile does not disclose personally-identifying information other than as described below.

Protection of Personal Information within Paperpile and our Contractors

With "Personal Information" we understand potentially personally-identifying, information and Content which you created and that you stored on our Service.

Paperpile has employees who work on the Service and works with contractors who improve or maintain parts of the Service. For example, the server hardware running the Service is provided by a contractor.

Paperpile discloses Personal Information only to those of its employees and contractors that (i) need to know that information in order to process it on Paperpile's behalf or to provide additional features available through Paperpile's Service, and (ii) that have agreed not to disclose it to third parties.

Some of those employees and contractors may be located outside of your home country; by using Paperpile's Service, you consent to the transfer of such information to them. Paperpile will not rent or sell potentially personally-identifying and personally-identifying information to any third party. Other than to its employees, contractors and affiliated organizations, as described above, Paperpile discloses potentially personally-identifying and personally-identifying information only when required to do so by law, or when Paperpile believes in good faith that disclosure is reasonably necessary to protect the property or rights of Paperpile, third parties or the public at large. If you are a registered user of a Paperpile Service and have supplied your email address, you explicitly agree that Paperpile may occasionally send you an email to tell you about new features, solicit your feedback, or just keep you up to date with what's going on with Paperpile and our Products. We primarily use our various product blogs to communicate this type of information, so we expect to keep this type of email to a minimum. If you send us a request (for example via a support email or via one of our feedback mechanisms), we reserve the right to publish it in order to help us clarify or respond to your request or to help us support other users. Paperpile takes all measures reasonably necessary to protect against the unauthorized access, use, alteration or destruction of potentially personally-identifying and personally-identifying information.

Protection of Shared and Public Content

We would like to protect shared Content the same way as personal Content is protected. As we cannot control what the recipients of your shared Content do with the Content, this is not possible. From our side, we restrict access to shared Content the same way we restrict your Personal Information.

Content which you published for the general public to see can be retrieved by the public and is therefore excluded from our privacy policy and confidentiality.

Analyzing the Data to Optimize the Service

We are continually optimizing and improving the Service for you. To analyze the data, we are using our own software and software of third parties.

To improve the software and to gain scientific insight, anonymous statistical information will be passed on to third parties, especially to providers of software which we use. This statistical information is not "Personal Information" under above definition; especially it is not potentially personally-identifying and does not include your Content or parts thereof.


A cookie is a string of information that a website stores on a visitor's computer, and that the visitor's browser provides to the website each time the visitor returns. Paperpile uses cookies to help Paperpile identify and track visitors, their usage of Paperpile Service, and their Service access preferences. Paperpile visitors who do not wish to have cookies placed on their computers should set their browsers to refuse cookies before using Paperpile's Services, with the drawback that certain features of Paperpile's Services may not function properly without the aid of cookies.

Privacy Policy Changes

Although most changes are likely to be minor, Paperpile may change its Privacy Policy from time to time, and in Paperpile's sole discretion. Paperpile encourages visitors to frequently check this page for any changes to its Privacy Policy. If you have a Paperpile account, you should also check your personal profile for alerts to these changes. Your continued use of this site after any change in this Privacy Policy will constitute your acceptance of such change.

This privacy policy is licensed under a Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. It is based on the Automattic Privacy Policy and modifications made by Refinder.