What is the ReadCube Papers Chrome Browser Extension/Web importer?

Welcome to the new ReadCube Papers Web Importer!

Now you can seamlessly import articles directly from your web browser into your synced ReadCube Papers library. Find papers as you normally would on PubMed, Google Scholar and journal websites - the extension allows you to add those references, along with optional notes, to any of your lists and will even attempt to automatically download PDFs*. Open any of your ReadCube Papers apps - web or mobile (iOS/Android) - and your imported articles will be immediately synced and available for reading.

Currently, the extension supports only the Google Chrome web browser but stay tuned - we're working hard to bring the importer to other web browsers.   

Download it for Chrome here

* The Web Importer extension is free and allows unlimited imports of reference metadata for all accounts (through proxy or publisher access). To automatically download and import associated article PDFs, a ReadCube Papers subscription is required. You can start a free 30 day trial, when prompted by the extension.

Here is a brief tutorial on how to get started with the Web Importer extension:

  • Install the browser extension                                                            

  • Log in to your account here. If you want to use an institutional EZProxy, please check this setting on your account page. [SFX URL resolver settings coming soon]

  • Find papers as you normally would in your web browser. We currently support the PubMed and Google Scholar search engines, as well as many publisher journal websites.

  • For officially supported sites - including PubMed and Google Scholar - you will see “+ ReadCube Papers” buttons directly on the page. Click the main button area to immediately import that article into your main ReadCube library (unsorted). Or click on the down arrow on the right side of the button to choose a specific library list to import into.               

  • The extension will immediately add the reference metadata to your ReadCube Papers library. It will also attempt to automatically find, download and import the article PDF.

  • Once an article is imported, click on the “In Library” button to view the reference in your ReadCube Papers library. If a PDF was found and attached, you can click on the blue document icon on the right side of the button to directly open the PDF in a new tab in the ReadCube Papers web reader. Please note, occasionally, a newly-imported PDF may require some additional processing time before becoming available in the web reader - if you can't open that PDF, please give it a bit of time and try again later (usually no more than a few minutes).

  • If a website with scholarly articles is not officially supported with the on-site "+ ReadCube Papers" buttons, you can still import most articles using the secondary toolbar interface. Additional extension functionality can also be found in this toolbar menu. If supported article(s) are detected on the current page, the button will change from gray to color, along with a red badge count of any detected article(s). Just click the color ReadCube Papers button in the toolbar to open the import dialog window. This can be accessed on search result pages, to allow for the selection of multiple references, or on single article pages, where optional Notes can be added and synced along with the article.        

  • If the first-pass automatic PDF download does not succeed, an orange exclamation icon will be shown to alert you. Multiple additional access options may be offered, depending on the journal.  

  • Go to article page - Opens the journal webpage for this article in a new tab. If you have EZProxy set up, it will be opened using that proxy. You may have to log into your institutional proxy, as you normally would.         

  • Go to PDF - Opens the journal site for the article PDF in a new tab, using your EZProxy settings if enabled.

  • Alternative PDF download sources - The extension will also search for other potential article PDF sources on the web, and if any are found, they will be listed and clickable.        

  • Besides the automatic PDF search and download, you can import any PDF that you manually find and open within the browser, including those opened from the alternative download sources listed by the extension. This may be required for some publisher websites for which we cannot support automatic downloads (e.g. ScienceDirect is one notable example which requires manual opening of the PDF first). Once you open a PDF in the browser’s default PDF viewer, just click the Save to ReadCube Papers button (bottom right) to import the PDF into your cloud library, where we will try to automatically identify the PDF.       

  • You can also import locally-downloaded PDFs in your file system. For example, if a PDF file was directly downloaded instead of opened in the browser viewer, you can drag the downloaded file into the browser and import to ReadCube Papers from there. This feature needs to be enabled in the extension settings - please follow the message prompt for enabling when you first try the import button with a locally-opened PDF file. To manually enable this option, open the browser Settings, go to the extensions list, find the ReadCube Papers extension listing, and select the checkbox for “Allow access to file URLs”.        


Other extension options can be found by right-clicking the extension button in the top toolbar.   

Thanks for trying the Web Importer extension! Help us improve it - please send any and all feedback and questions our way at support@papersapp.com.

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