Max library size (i.e. max number of papers in a "pile")

Hi all,

I was just wondering if there was a max library size? I presently have about 5,000 papers total in my pile. I have the prospect of importing a library of approximately 25,000 papers (to make a total of over 30,000).

Computing power, internet access speeds… basically all factors under my control are extremely capable. Does anyone foretell issues to do with reliability or any other concerns about attempting to manage a library of this size with Paperpile?

Thanks in advance,



Hope you get a reply on this important question. I wonder if you could do a test by setting up another account and then sharing you current system? Not ideal I know. Presumably you are paying to expand your google drive space?

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I’ve currently got just under 8000 papers in my library but haven’t come across any issues so far. The only one that I did have in the original version was that the filtering issues seemed to restricted to around 3000 (from memory) - but that seems to have been resolved in the current beta version.

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@ajn We have users with large libraries like the one you’d like to import already. But if you do experience issues with importing and managing your library, please contact support over chat or email so that a member of the team can take a look.

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Many thanks for taking the time to make a thoughtful reply, Suzanne. I’ll give it a shot and report back.

Sitrep: I’ve manually imported 1500 papers and then imported about 3500 papers in a batch to test (I thought it best not to drop 10,000 papers in a batch for various reasons).

A few issues appear to have arisen:

  1. It’s hard to tell what is sitting in my Chrome local cache/files vs safely backed up in my Google account. Is there any way to reconcile or check this to ensure that files aren’t lost? “Resync and cleanup” doesn’t appear to be working. If it is, it’s either running in the background and/or very slowly.
  2. Metadata identification/auto-population is rather patchy. Manually labelling this many papers is exceptionally time-consuming. I am really hoping there might be some improvements due on that front.
  3. There’s a definite need to be able to bulk update metadata, for example, selecting 500 papers and selecting that they’re “Thesis” sub-option “PhD” as opposed to doing that manually.
  4. Selecting large numbers of papers using the shift key sometimes causes the selection to go in the opposite direction to what was intended.

Other than that, the search functionality is working well, load times are great, and all else appears to be working as intended (which is pretty damn fabulous - thanks, Paperpile/Community).

Any assistance or input would be sincerely appreciated so far as those issues are concerned.

  • Andrew

PS total library size is now ~10,000 papers

Thank you for your feedback on the import process, @ajn. I’ve passed it on to the team.

When importing PDFs, you should observe the progress of the Google sync, and you need to check Google Drive for the files.

Points 2 and 3 are addressed in the new Paperpile, available in private beta. Some of the new features for label management include renaming labels and folders via search and replace, merging labels, deleting multiple labels and folders at once, and changing color of labels in bulk. You can also update multiple references at the same time (e.g. change the same field for all chapters in one book).

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I have about 17,000 references, using a fairly basic chromebook: everything functions very well, no glitches or sense of slowness. (That’s in the regular app; I’m also testing the new version, but that is still much too slow to be usable.)

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