Paperpile Tree-view Sidebar for Google Docs

I’ve only been using Paperpile for a couple of hours and I really like it already. It’s the first truly modern, cloud based and fully integrated reference and citation software that I have come across. I’d like to suggest a feature that would make it better (at least to me).

I find myself flicking between Paperpile tab in my browser and my Docs tab. It would be great if Paperpile provided a collapsible sidebar right in Docs to view my papers as a tree view of folders. Clicking on a paper should take me to Paperpile with the selected paper ready for me to look at in depth. Having that quick glance and the list available as I write would be really helpful.


Well, you can get a sidebar right away with our new sidebar add-on that will be officially announced very soon:

At the moment it’s mostly meant for non-Paperpile users but our goal is to integrate it better with the webpp for Paperpile users going forward. You can search your library and read abstracts now. Showing links back to Paperpile or the PDF is on our roadmap. We will think about browsing folders/labels as well.

It’s a bit too early to decide where we want to go with this add-on so I can’t say anything concrete other than that we like to hear any feedback about it and ideas to improve it.

Interesting and very nicely put together service. But it’s not what I had in mind. I would like to see a side bar inside Google Docs which allows me to browse through my Paperpile library and get instant previews of my references. Ideally I would like to see an interface similar to Apple’s Spotlight: select an entry form the tree hierarchy, press a keyboard shortcut (or use the mouse) and a panel pops up in the middle of the screen showing me a preview of the selected reference.

Information such as title and authors should be always visible in the side bar though. The “spotlight” preview is just to get more without having to go to Paperpile.

There should be a way to go from this preview or from the sidebar straight into Paperpile. If Paperpile is already open the system shoudl take me to that window/tab and not create a new one.


We definitely have planned “Open in Paperpile” links. In the long term we might allow the user to browse the library instead of just searching it. The full information including abstract is already shown in the current implementation as you suggested. We will not show previews though.

I don’t think we’re talking about the same thing. Here’s a link to a quick mockup of what I’m after.
I don’t seem to be able to upload an image because I’m a new user… :frowning:

Anyway, back to the topic. I would like to see a side bar built into Google Docs which allows me to browse all my papers. Obviously in the mock up I have used a screenshot of the folders sidebar from PP but the Docs PP sidebar should actually show the papers in the folders. Like a regular tree file view. Double clicking on an entry in this sidebar would automatically add the citation to the document being edited.

The benefit of my suggestion is twofold: you get another method of entering citations in to your manuscript, you get to browse your papers without leaving the manuscript. This is big for me because I never remember the titles or authors of the papers so having an auto suggest is not that great for me at least. I need to browse the papers to jog my memory.

I hope that makes sense to you and thank you for being so patient and responsive. I think that you guys are doing an amazing job with this service.