PaperPile Review:
based on real mystery shopping

A*Help Score: 62/100
🔥 published March 27, 2024 - updated April 2, 2024

Quick Overview

PaperPile is a reference management tool designed with a focus on simplicity and efficiency, yet with a few limitations. With an A*Help score of 62/100, it seems to occupy a niche space among various academic tools. At its core, PaperPile aims to streamline the research process for its users by offering access to journal articles and facilitating citation generation in many styles. Although, it does have its drawbacks, for people in education or businesses looking for an affordable, no-frills option for managing references and citations, PaperPile might just be worth a look.

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The Good
  • Affordable Subscription Plans
  • Citation Formatting Variety
The Bad
  • Mandatory Google Account for Registration
  • Limited Search Capabilities

PaperPile: Searching Quality – 26/50 ⭐️⭐️⭐️

PaperPile scores a lukewarm 26 out of 50. It does a decent job of pulling sources from journals and allows access to full texts or abstracts, which is a plus. However, it falls short in terms of the variety and comprehensiveness of the sources. The absence of books and conferences as searchable sources, along with the inability to filter or refine searches, could be a dealbreaker for some. The platform does offer a range of citation formats, including MLA, APA, Chicago, and Harvard, but the overall experience feels somewhat restricted due to the lack of search customization options.

Search results at PaperPile
Search results at PaperPile (click to see a large image)
Climate change effects on Polar bears
Newest data on Mars rover findings

PaperPile: Value for money – 23/25 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

When we talk about value for money, PaperPile seems to fare better, with a score of 20 out of 25. Its pricing structure is quite attractive, especially the Academic Plan at $2.99 per month, billed annually. This plan is pretty inclusive, catering to academic institutions, non-profits, and personal use. The Business Plan, priced at $9.99 per month, billed annually, expands the service’s reach to business and industry users. Despite a generous 30-day free trial, no available free features might leave users wanting more. However, the addition of a Chrome extension and mobile apps for iOS and Android adds a layer of convenience and accessibility, boosting its cost-benefit ratio.

An image showing citing options at PaperPile
Citing at PaperPile (click to see a large image)
Subscription cost
Free features

PaperPile: Overall Experience – 16/25 ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Overall experience with PaperPile garners a score of 16 out of 25. The platform’s usability is somewhat hampered by an outdated interface and a mandatory Google account for registration. While the mobile app presents a more polished and user-friendly experience, the web version’s design and navigation could be a stumbling block for many. The service does offer functionalities like saving articles in a personal library and sharing them via link or email, but the overall speed and efficiency are affected by its cumbersome interface. Furthermore, the lack of integration with other reference management tools and an AI assistant could limit its appeal to users looking for a more streamlined and integrated research workflow.

A screenshot showing article editing at PaperPile
Article editing at PaperPile (click to see a large image)
User experience
Speed and efficiency
Mobile accessibility


To wrap it up, PaperPile presents a mixed bag of impressions. Its affordable pricing and mobile app accessibility are definite highlights, offering solace to users frustrated by its search limitations and outdated web interface. For those heavily reliant on journals and content with navigating a less-than-intuitive platform, PaperPile could be a worthy consideration. However, users seeking a more comprehensive and user-friendly research tool may be dissapointed. All in all, PaperPile is like a rough diamond – it has potential, but whether it’s the right fit depends largely on your specific needs and patience to navigate its peculiarities.


PaperPile Reviews

The AcademicHelp team analyzes tools like PaperPile by blending internal evaluations with an extensive review of feedback from users on multiple reputable platforms. This strategy makes our reviews thorough and fair, capturing its functionality and reliability in supporting academic efforts. By adopting this approach, we aim to reveal the full picture of PaperPile, showcasing its strengths while also noting any limitations that might affect its suitability for certain categories of users.

Is PaperPile a scam?

PaperPile isn’t a scam. It’s a legitimate reference management tool that has been developed to assist individuals, academic institutions, and businesses in organizing and citing their research materials. The tool offers value through its subscription plans, including access to a range of citation styles and a user-friendly mobile app.

Is PaperPile legit?

Yes, PaperPile is a legitimate service designed to make academic research and reference management easier and more efficient. It offers a range of features including a variety of citation formats and access to journal articles. Despite some user interface challenges and narrow search functionality, it provides a solid platform for managing citations, especially for users who appreciate its mobile app and Chrome extension.

Is PaperPile safe?

PaperPile prioritizes user safety with a secure registration process (though it currently only allows Google account sign-ups) and careful personal and research data handling. While any online platform carries inherent risks, PaperPile’s commitment to user security is evident in its approach to data management and privacy.

Is PaperPile trustworthy?

PaperPile is a trustworthy tool for those in need of reference management solutions. Despite its shortcomings in search functionality and interface design, it delivers on its promises by providing useful features like citation generation in various styles and a functional mobile application. However, potential users should consider whether its offerings align with their specific needs.

Is PaperPile a good service?

PaperPile can be considered a good service for users looking for an affordable and straightforward tool for citation management. It excels in providing access to various citation formats and integrating with web browsers through its extension. However, its effectiveness is diminished primarily by its limited search capabilities. Ultimately, its value will depend on the user’s specific requirements.

PaperPile Specs

> Quality and Variety of Sources
> Comprehensiveness (study types, domains)
access to full texts or abstracts
Relevance (Up-to-Date Information)
> Citation Formatting
Other styles
Subscription Cost / pricing
Free 30-day trial:
all features included

Academic Plan $2.99/month billed annually:
All features included
– For academic institutions, non-profits and personal use

Business Plan $9.99/month billed annually:
– All features included
– For business and industry
> User experience
Integration with Reference Management Tools
search functionality and filtering options
AI assistant
> Support
live chat
help center

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