Bulk Editing of Papers

It would be nice to be able to edit multiple items at once. For instance, if I upload 5 papers from a conference, it would be nice to be able to add the date, location, and conference title to all items at the same time.


I can’t think of any common use case for that. There is a huge overhead coming with each new feature and phrases like “would be nice” are usually a strong indication that we rather should stay away from it.

I understand that not all features can be accommodated. However, as a non-programmer it is hard for me to know what features will be easy to implement and which ones will have a “huge overhead” so rather than self-censoring I feel it is best to suggest the feature and leave it up the the developers whether or not they wish to implement it.

Moreover, in my feature requests I always try to provide a concrete example of how I would use the new feature, as I do above. I make these suggestions when I encounter a problem in my now daily use of the app, and the above example is not hypothetical but something that actually happened to me when I received a number of papers for a conference and find myself needing to edit the metadata for each one individually.

It would also be useful in correcting mistakes in metadata across multiple chapters from the same edited volume, or multiple items from an author whose name requires an accent but where there is no accent in the automatically added metadata. Since Google Scholar is full of incorrect metadata, there are actually many situations where this could occur.

I should also add that most database-style apps I have used on the Mac, including iTunes, Bookends, Sente, etc. have this feature (bulk editing). Click multiple iTunes entries, Sente references, etc. and the standard edit field comes up, but changes are propagated to all checked items, rather than just one.


I tend to agree. I don’t have to do bulk editing often, but when I do it’s a royal pain in the neck because it’s on a lot of references. Filtering/searching to get only the relevant references visible, then using “Save and Next” and “Save and Back” top copy/paste individual field contents helps… a little…

Mind you, there are open feature requests that would be a much higher priority in my own use cases.


I just wanted to add my support for this feature as well (recognizing it’s already in the roadmap and shouldn’t be the highest priority).

I’ve had some issues with the journal name normalization (either failing to retain the desired capitalization or using a variation of the name that is not commonly used in my field). While the “Save and Next” solution saves time, bulk editing would be helpful.

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I’m one of those who awaiting bulk editing feature. I share similar demand in cases already indicated by previous replies, and although not a case for everyone, I frequently want to edit authors’s names in bulk.

When importing informations from Japanese (and some Chinese) repositories, authors’ names tend to be expressed in Chinese characters and family name and first name are oppositely registered into the library. For better consistency throughout my library, I usually re-type such authors’ names into common English expression to secure not to miss any literature when I filter by author’s name. This is usually time consuming for who already have hundreds of entries with Japanese or Chinese names along with their english publications.


For conferences and books, is it possible to have an entry for the conference or the book. By default, a book chapter would create two items, a chapter entry and a book entry that are linked. New chapters can point to the same book. Conferences would work the same way. It would solve some of the demand for “bulk editing.”


Might there be a way of allowing us to download the bib or json file, make our edits programatically, and upload it again to replace all existing refs (or even purge the library and do that?) It seems the only missing power is being able to link the pdfs back to the citation objects. If I could be confident that the pdfs would be re-linked I’d do it right now.

[I have to remove spaces between semi-colons in the URL fields. R Markdown/pandoc/LaTeX (not sure which) shoves a bunch of %20%20 in. I have probably hundreds of refs like that. Being able to edit the bib file would solve it.]

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I would like this feature - especially after inpporting a large group of files from zotero

Allow users to bulk update fields, e.g.,

  • Change the selected group of journals to another type
  • Add institution so that it is filled, or consistent
  • Add year to a selection of entries

It would also help with adding conference papers or book chapters to duplicate the entry


So I gather bulk editing is not possible on Paperfile? I have a lot of book chapters in my library (hundreds at least), and where the system doesn’t work out what they are, it is a huge pain to amend the info one by one. On Mendeley (which seems less good at recognising the materials to begin with) batch editing is straightforward - you just select a bunch of documents at once and amend the info that applies to them all. So it’s disappointing that this is thought to be a difficult feature to add to Paperfile.


Also supporting a bulk editing feature. I have multiple papers that I’d like to handle this way.

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I just switched to Paperpile from Mendeley (as I suspect others might when Mendeley Desktop is retired later this week). I’m bringing over more than 4000 documents, including book chapters, articles with different styles of the same authors’ name, that will need to be cleaned as indicated by other users above.

Additionally, I will be analyzing theses for my dissertation and changing the entry type to “thesis” as a bulk edit would make this transition smoother and make me less likely to stop my Paperpile subscription.

Welcome to our forum, @emanalo! This is coming soon – although not specified on our roadmap, the ability to edit multiple records simultaneously will be part of the new extension / webapp we’ve been working on. Initial (limited) beta testing should begin within the next month or so, with wider release scheduled before the end of the year.


Thanks so much for the update!! That is great to hear.

Any update on this issue, please?

@oosiga Happy to announce that the ability to update multiple references simultaneously (e.g. change the same field) is part of the private beta of the new web app and extension. Head over to this post to sign up for the private beta to try out this feature.