Exporting PDFs from Paperpile

Is it possible to export everything from Paperpile, including PDFs etc., and import them into Zotero? I have many documents in Paperpile and don't want to lose them when I close my account.
  • I'm afraid you'd have to start by asking them -- if they provide a full (hopefully standardized) download/export, Zotero either can or we can help you import PDFs, but we haven't dealt with people migrating from Paperpile much, so I wouldn't know this.
  • Hi Adam - Paperpile will export all data in JSON format.

    I tried RIS format but didn't get the PDF links. Paperpile stores attached docs on Google Drive. I don't want to have to manually make the links if I can do it an easier way!
  • If there's no option to get the data that includes a link to the local copy of the file (e.g. synced down from Google Drive), I honestly don't see a way of doing that, sorry.
  • They tell you how to post-process their RIS such that attachments should work here: http://forum.paperpile.com/t/export-attachments-with-ris/1728/13
  • Thanks for the headsup on that.

    The instruction is to edit the RIS file with a text editor to find & replace "L1 - All" with the actual location of PDFs etc. on the hard drive (Google Drive).

    How do I edit the RIS file? Do you recommend a suitable text editor?
  • Importantly, do _not_ use a word processor, including WordPad.

    If you're on Mac, TextEdit will do. On Windows, I'd be a bit wary of notepad, but you could try. For something more robust, I'd recommend Notepad++ https://notepad-plus-plus.org/ (free)
  • After much gnashing of teeth, I have found a way that does not require editing the RIS, posted in January 2020 to the Paperpile forum. I can attest that it works:

    "The most convenient way turned out to be to export the RIS file into the Google Drive/Paperpile folder and then import into Zotero from there. This way, the relative paths to the PDF files are correct and no editing of the RIS files is needed."

    --Obviously you must have saved your Google Drive/Paperpile folder (the one with all the pdfs saved in folders according to author's last name) to your hard drive. Then slip the downloaded .ris file into the top level of your Google Drive/Paperpile folder on your disk.
    All pdfs are imported and attached as they were in Paperpile. No need to edit RIS. I have imported 1,000+ references this way, and have had no problems.
  • Thanks, this is great. Unfortunately it only works if there is a one-to-one mapping between your PDFs and folders. If you have a single PDF stored in more than one folder, then Paperpile's export lists the paths one after another (comma separated). It should be possible to run a RegEx to clean this up, but it does need an additional step.
  • So it turns out that writing such a Regular Expression is very difficult, as the file name only appears in the last item in the list. I was able to write a RegEx that selects the first entry, but that doesn't work, because it lacks the filename.
  • Do you have an example for how this looks? Everything is possible with a regex :P
  • I just tried the above method, and it didn't work in its entirety, but here's what worked for me. I was able to get all my PDFs (annotated and everything) from Paperpile this way:
    - I proceeded as r_koontz suggested above and downloaded the entire Paperpile Google Drive folder to disk
    - Save the Export file as RIS from Paperpile and put it in the downloaded top Paperpile folder (I'm not actually sure that it mattered to save it here).
    - In Zotero, click File > Import...
    - Select Import from a file (BibTeX, RIS etc.) and Continue
    - Select the Paperpile Export RIS file that you've saved to disk (this also worked with BibTeX btw)
    - UNCHECK "Copy files to the Zotero storage folder" and switch it to "Link to files in original location" and Continue

    I moved 628 entries, including all of the ones that had attached PDFs that were originally in the Paperpile Google Drive folder into Zotero and when I check the file they track to the Paperpile folder that I downloaded. Not in the Zotero folder, mind you, but I don't think that should be a problem for my purposes.
  • Any way to do this while preserving the folder structure? This method worked for me but everything came in within one, single folder. I have thousands of references in paperpile that are organized.
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