Introduction to Papers Online

Papers 3 for Mac, Windows and iOS now include a new collaborative feature, Papers Online. Papers Online introduces two features: Shared Collections and the Reading List.

Enabling Papers Online.

To use Papers Online, you need to create an account with Papers 3.


  • Select Papers -> Preferences and click the Account Panel.

  • Click "Not yet signed up?" and submit in your name, email address and a chosen password.

  • You should receive a verification email; click the link and choose "Open Papers" on the webpage.


  • You find the "Sign In or Register" under Papers Online section of the left hand side of Papers.

Shared Collections

Shared Collections in Papers Online are collections of papers that are stored online and can be accessed and edited by multiple people. Only metadata are shared, but Papers will allow you to download and save PDFs for the documents as it usually does.

The sharing model

Each Shared Collection has a URL. Anyone with access to this URL can access and modify a Shared Collection. This facilitates easy sharing amongst labs, journal clubs or more informal groupings; simply distribute the URL by email, Facebook or Twitter, for instance. However, you should be careful to whom you give this URL, as they could vandalise your Collection. We believe this strikes a balance between easy collaboration and security.

Creating a Shared Collection and adding publications

In Papers 3 for Mac and Windows:

  • Click the "+" symbol in the lower-left corner and choose “New Shared Collection”

  • Edit the name for your Shared Collection

  • Drag and drop publications into the collection

Sharing your collection

In Papers 3 for Mac and Windows:

  • Right click on your Shared Collection in the left-hand pane

  • Choose "Share"

    • To share by email, click "Send URL by email" which will open a new message in your default mail client
    • To share by another method (Twitter, Facebook, iMessage…) click "Copy invitation URL". You can now paste this URL into any message
  • Anyone who receives this URL and has a Papers Online account will have full access to the Shared Collection, including the ability to invite more people.

  • The URL is also public to non Papers Online users as a read-only webpage.

Reading List

Your Reading List enables several new ways to more easily get articles in and out of Papers and keep track of what you are currently researching. Use it to keep a list of the papers you are currently working on that you can quickly return to in both in Papers and on the Papers Online web interface. Again only the metadata is shared between platforms, but each platform will attempt to source the original PDF from the url in the metadata.

Adding publications to your Reading List

  • In Papers 3 for Mac and Windows, simply drag-and-drop publications into the Reading List entry.

  • Use our Chrome extension to post directly from the web

  • Log in to Papers Online and directly add from a URL.

Consuming Papers in your Reading List

  • Papers 3 will attempt to source PDFs and any metadata for links added to the Reading List

  • You can read the PDFs in Papers 3 as normal. You can also import to your library, or a shared collection by drag-and-drop.

  • You can also access the Reading List in your web browser.

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