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Click on the tabs below for information about Paperpile.

About Paperpile

About the software

Paperpile is a simple but powerful web-based reference management tool, with emphasis on integration with Google Docs and Google Scholar and collected PDFs directly from the web.

Paperpile allows you to organise your research papers, sync your PDFs to Google Drive and cite your references in Google Docs. It also allows you the ability to share references, particularly useful when you are collaborating with others in your writing and it’s incredibly intuitive to use.

We are the first UK Higher Education institution to buy a site licence, making this simple but powerful tool freely available to all our staff and students.

Parts of Paperpile are implemented as a Google Chrome browser extension so it should always be used in the Chrome browser, which is available on all staff managed PCs and all classroom PCs.

Paperpile now has public betas for a plugin that allows you to cite with MS Word, and iOS and Android apps. It is also available on university-managed computers.

Obtaining the software

Students and staff

Paperpile is available to all students and staff at the University of York who have a valid email address and is available both on and off campus.

Paperpile is designed to work with the Google Chrome browser - using any other browser will not give you full functionality and is not recommended. It allows

To register:

  1. Go to, select Sign in and use the Google sign-in option, entering your University Google account details.
  2. You will then be prompted to authorise Paperpile and install the Paperpile Chrome Extension.

Existing Paperpile users

If you already use paperpile you can switch to the University Site License by going to Settings | Account.

Choose 'Activate Site License' and enter your University email address.

Word plugin beta

Paperpile installs its Google Docs citation plugin by default, but it now also has a public beta for a plugin for citing in MS Word. To note, this tool is still technically part of a 'beta' program, so the feature could be removed by Paperpile if any issues are found. 

Managed PCs

The Paperpile Microsoft Word plugin is already installed on all Classroom PCs. Search for Paperpile in the list of installed applications and open the app to sign in to your paperpile account. Once signed in, you can open MS Word and use the 'Paperpile' tab on the top toolbar. 

On Staff and Office PCs, the Paperpile plugin is available to install from the Software Centre. Search for Paperpile and select Install. Once installed, look for the Paperpile app in the list of installed programs, open it and sign in using your Google account before using MS Word. Once signed in, re-open Microsoft word to use the 'Paperpile' tab. 

Unmanaged PCs and home use 

To try the MS Word plugin beta on a personal, unmanaged device, go to and download the plugin for Windows or Mac.

iOS and Android apps

Paperpile now also has free apps for both iOS and Android so you can see and manage your references on to go. Search for 'Paperpile' in the relevant App Store to install these.

Documentation, training and support


Paperpile is designed to be user-friendly and intuitive to use.

Help, Getting Started Guides, troubleshooting and a forum offering extra help and allowing feature requests are all available from:

Our Reference Management Practical Guide has guidance on using the features of Paperpile and the other three supported reference management tools (EndNote, Mendeley, and Zotero) as well as general guidance on the principles of reference management and how to choose the right tool for you.


  • Paperpile's forums are a good place to get support with its features.
  • If you require further help or support with Paperpile, please contact the Library & IT Help Desk.