♻️ New: Automatic BibTeX sync and Overleaf integration (public beta)

What’s new?

  • Automatically sync and external BibTeX file. Whenever you add, update or remove references in your library Paperpile will update the BibTeX file.
  • You can sync a folder, label or your whole library to a BibTeX file.
  • You can choose your destination:
    • Google Drive. Once your BibTeX file is on Google Drive you can use it on all your devices however you want, e.g. sync to your local Desktop computer.
    • GitHub. Use this option, if you use GitHub for version control of your manuscript. For every change, Paperpile will commit the updates to your repository.
    • Download link. Sync your BibTeX file to a private download link. You can use it on the command line, or in automatic scripts.
    • Overleaf: Download link that can be included in your Overleaf project.

Activate and use the new features

Here is a 4-minute walkthrough for the automatic BibTeX export:

Notes

  • You cannot export shared folders.
  • Exported files are read-only. All changes you make directly to an exported BibTeX file will be overwritten when Paperpile next syncs the content. If you or your colleagues want to add entries manually, we suggest to use multiple BibTeX files, e.g.
    • you have one automatically exported paperpile.bib file and one manual other-references.bib file and include both in your manuscript with \bibliography{paperpile, other-references}.

Feedback

Please report your first impressions, bugs and general feedback here in this thread :point_down:

We already want to thank all of you who gave feedback over the years leading to these new features, including more then 500 users who answered our BibTeX survey :blush:

8 Likes

I would be interested in using this with something like Logseq or Obsidian. I was playing around with Zotero for which there are already a number of plugins. The BibTex output already basically works with the Citations plugin for Obsidian but the link it generates is something like: zotero://select/items/@citekey. Is there a way to generate a similar URL that would open the item in Paperpile?

UPDATE: Or perhaps the Bibtex file could be updated to include the unique library link for each item in paperpile?

2 Likes

This is very cool but would be even cooler if one had the same flexibility as the standard BibTeX export in terms of creating the bibtex file. In particular:

  1. Apply filters like “Has PDF”.
  2. Include a “file” field in each entry (that has a file).

—Fran

1 Like

My team and I would love to see this Automatic BibTeX sync feature to extend to shared folders. Thank you for your time and consideration!

2 Likes

:+1:+1 for this. PLEAAASE let us integrate with Obsidian!

2 Likes

Hey PDs and developers,

I wanted to try this new function but when I click my setting button, there is no workflows and integration button at my interface.

And also there is nothing in my feature preview interface.

Could you tell me why? Is the reason that I have a free trial now?

@Jinyuan please check your Feature Preview tab again - should be enabled now. I’ve added a couple weeks to your trial period so you have more time to test the feature.

Any other users not seeing the option in their settings can contact us via chat/email (support@paperpile.com) and we’ll enable the option.

Hello, I’ve enabled the beta Overleaf syncing and it works… for some references. Other references that I know are in my library (and which I cite all the time in Google Docs) seem to not be included the paperpile.bib file, even after hitting ‘refresh’ in Overleaf. The weird thing is that they show up in the auto-fill choices when I call a \cite{} command, but then show up as question marks in the compiled PDF. And then, when I search directly in the paperpile.bib file for those references, they don’t exist!

Any thoughts on how to fix this? Happy to provide more specific details about my library if necessary.

@mpeters thanks for the report. Have you set up an export workflow for your whole library, or specific folders/labels? Have you tried deleting and re-adding the workflow to see if anything changes? Let us know, and please confirm the email address you use for Paperpile. Feel free to reply here or via chat/email (support@paperpile.com).

Thanks for the fast response, Vincent. The workflow exports the whole library. I have tried deleting the workflow and creating a new one, but the problem persists and the same citations are missing from both exports. I have confirmed the missing citations are indeed in my personal paperpile library and not a shared folder. Two days ago, I added 2 citations to my library. One of the missing citations is one of these, while the other shows up fine.

I’d rather not share my email address publicly so I will send that to the support email. It is the same email that I’ve used to log in to this forum.

Upon further investigation, this appears to be an issue wherein Overleaf may limit file size even on Professional plans. This results in the full .bib file not being available in my document, despite Overleaf being able to “see” all the citations. I have sent a message to Overleaf support, but if there are any workarounds you might suggest (that do not involve exporting only a few references) I would be very grateful to hear them. Thanks as always for your support.

Thanks for the revert, @mpeters, and for reaching out via email as well. Word from the team is that there might not be a workaround from Overleaf’s end, either, so the only viable solution would be to group references under specific folders/labels and export that smaller selection instead. Please let us know if you hear anything different from their support or else.

Hi again, thanks so much for your help. With Overleaf support I have resolved this issue, and will describe the solution here for any others who find this thread. It boils down to two elements:

  1. Exporting my whole library produces a very big file. This just means it’s not editable with Overleaf, but it is still there and usable! To edit it, one must just pull it down into a text editor and then re-upload. However, this would break the ‘syncing’ between the PaperPile beta syncing and the Overleaf document of course, so any new references added to the library would not be synced.
  2. The problem was actually a parse error in the export from PaperPile, in that one abstract in one reference had a stray “{” in it that caused parsing to crash at that line. Through Sublime text editor, the location of the parse error could be found in the file, and I was able to edit that abstract directly in my PaperPile library so that the export/sync would be correct (rather than edit paperpile.bib directly and re-upload, which would break syncing as described in (1)). Upon ‘refresh’, my paperpile.bib file now parses correctly in my Overleaf project, with the whole library available.

Probably the only solution here is to either manually ensure that there are no weird stray curly braces in one’s abstracts in the PaperPile library, or if you’re having this kind of issue check that there aren’t any parse errors with a separate text editor like Sublime. I doubt an automated scan for such curly braces would be worth the trouble in the PaperPile export process, although if it is easy to do it might be a nice “human-proof” feature.

Thanks so much for all your support!