Shared Google Drive folder

As I understand it after having some conversations with @stefan, when a Paperpile user integrates with Google Drive, the Google Drive folder is set up and linked only to that Paperpile user’s account. When a user shares Paperpile references, other users can view the PDF in Google Drive through MetaPDF, but anything that they add to the shared folder will be stored in their own Google Drive folder through their personal library.

A more ideal sharing arrangement, to me, would involve a master Google Drive Folder to which other Paperpile users are granted access and anything they upload to Paperpile is saved to the same folder.

This way, offline access to attachments would be through a single Google Drive shared folder, hosted by one of the “team” of shared users. This would follow the model of Google Drive integration practiced by Teamwork PM among others and would mean that there is an administrator for a group of users.

That’s a fundamental question about the sharing model. You can have a “share by pointer” or “share by copy” model. We chose the share by pointer model in which a shared folder is just a lightweight collection in which users can but “pointers” to papers that are stored in their library.

A “share by copy” would create a copy of the references and all files and saves them independently.

Both models have pros and cons. We chose the “share by pointer” model for various reasons. One is that it’s also the model Google Apps uses itself. If you share a Google document it would feel strange if a copy is created in some “central” account.

We definitely see also the disadvantages and although it’s not possible to mix these models easily, we have some ideas how we can improve the workflow for situations where there is a “master” like a research group leader or librarian who wants to create a shared repository that lives in one place.

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