Papers (software)

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Screen shot of Papers 1.6
Screen shot of Papers 1.6
Developer(s) ReadCube
Stable release
3.2.3 (Mac)
3.0.15 (Windows)[1] / July 2014 (Mac, Windows, iOS, Online)
Operating system Mac
Type Reference management software
License Proprietary

Papers is a reference management software for Mac OS X and Windows,[2] used to manage bibliographies and references when writing essays and articles. It is primarily used to organize references and maintain a library of PDF documents and also provides a uniform interface for document repository searches, metadata editing, full screen reading and a variety of ways to import and export documents.


Papers was developed by Alexander Griekspoor and Tom Groothuis while studying towards their Ph.D.s at the Netherlands Cancer Institute.[3] Faced with working with hundreds of digital publications in PDF format, the pair worked on Papers to provide an iTunes-like approach to document management.[3] Papers was originally released as a public preview in February 2007, followed by the full 1.0 version a few months later. A new version of the software was released and put for sale in the third quarter of 2013, along with a new iPhone/iPad app. Both products went under a considerable amount of criticism from new and returning users, who experienced a number of issues, ranging from lost databases and annotations to incompatibility between mobile and desktop apps. Users criticised Mekentosj and Springer, respectively developer and owner of Papers, for putting up for sale a beta version of the software and their slowness in addressing problems that effectively rendered the software unusable.[4]

On March 16, 2016, ReadCube acquired Papers from Springer Nature for an undisclosed amount.[5]



With the release of Papers2 in March 2011, Papers now also offers full EndNote-style reference citation features. Papers2 allows for users to access their library and insert citations across many different applications, whether in documents, presentations, or in web browsers. Papers offers a familiar user interface and a number of features for collecting, curating, merging and linking articles.

A new version for Mac was released in late 2013: Papers 3. This version introduces a redesigned user interface and dropbox based syncing, which has subsequently being expanded to other cloud-based repositories.


Papers for Windows was first released in 2012 following the success of the Mac application. A new version, now Papers 3 for Windows, has been released late July 2014 following the redesign of the Mac and iOS applications earlier. This new version streamlines the user experience and the features available from the Mac application. Papers 3 for Windows now also brings unified search to this platform. It supports dropbox syncing between Mac and iOS devices running Papers as well as Papers Online.

The Windows version of Papers has been withdrawn from sale.

iPhone and iPad[edit]

Versions of Papers are available for free from the iTunes App Store for iPhone and iPad. The most recent version was released with the Papers 3 for Mac launch and features unified search on the iOS app as well. Article management compares to the desktop versions, and in addition to the standard annotation features the new Papers for iOS also features freehand annotations. Papers for iOS can be synchronized using dropbox with both the Mac or Windows applications.

Papers Online[edit]

Papers Online is a new set of services released in conjunction with Papers 3 for Windows. It works across all platforms (Mac, iOS, and Windows) and offers users a means of sharing collections of articles. Papers users can create shared collections and access them from a browser on any other device, and share this collection to be accessed by other Papers users as well as individuals who are not currently using Papers.


Papers won an Apple Design Award in 2007, for the best Mac OS X Scientific Computing Solution.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]