I need to join this growing chorus in resounding my utter dissatisfaction with what has happened to Papers. Like many others I have been a long time user of Papers 3 and have tried to keep using until Readcube stopped supporting it. With the most recent Big Sur update, Papers 3 has become unstable and was forced to upgrade.
What a mistake. It's hard to imagine how new software versions are meant to improve on the previous, but this is the opposite with Papers 4. Quite a few features we are familiar with have changed:
- The data storage model has shifted to the cloud. So this means each time you use the desktop app or the web app, Papers 4 needs to contact remote servers and download your data. This can sometimes be slow depending on your internet connection and how responsive Readcube servers are at that time.
- The fields do not auto-populate. In the previous version, you can do a few things: enter the title or DOI for instance, and Papers automatically searches and returns a list of possibilities, which you can then select and complete the data entry. Not anymore with Papers 4. You'd be lucky if Papers 4 fully saves everything you've manually entered.
- No more database normalisation. Commonly reused fields like journal name, author and editor names are well managed in Papers 3. The system is smart enough to detect, as you start typing in the first few letters in these fields that they are already in your database and then offer to choices for you to select. Not anymore with the new version. You'll have to type in the field each time in full.
There are more useful features in Papers 3 that have been removed from Papers 4. But for me the worst possible thing is that while exporting my data from Papers 3 to 4 went without a hitch, Papers 4 went on to loose over 90% of my entries. Yes, I had 1800 items. Both the desktop and web apps showed that they were all there right after the export. But then when I ran the apps again the next day, I could only see 120 of them.
So be extra mindful when upgrading.