My institute is looking for a system to collaboratively manage literature on a server.

In the first place, we want to organize our electronic literature archive. These are almost exclusively PDF files. It would be interesting to include our stock of paper-based books as well, but if this isn't possible, it shouldn't be a problem. Probably closest would be a PDF management with a client-server architecture where people can upload their PDF files, search for what they need and download the PDF files they need. The problem is, a directory structure on a Windows server doesn't allow tagging and the searching/sorting abilities are limited. Also, we don't want to force everyone to use e.g. Endnote or Mendeley. So people should be able to import literature from the central repository into their own reference managers.

We have a userbase of about 35 users. Is there anything remotely close to the case I am describing here?

  • 2
    What does the library of your institution recommend?
    – Jigg
    Commented Aug 5, 2014 at 14:32
  • 2
    This question appears to be off-topic because it is a shopping question. Software Recommendations can take this type of question, but please read their help centre and meta post on how to ask, first, to ensure your question can be edited to meet their standards.
    – 410 gone
    Commented Aug 5, 2014 at 14:42
  • 1
    How does the citation management part relate to the document management part? Are they tied together or two separate requirements? Commented Aug 5, 2014 at 21:59
  • There is a very similar question on academia.stackexchange which may contain some helpful software suggestions. Commented Aug 6, 2014 at 11:31
  • My very own question might contain helpful links in the answers given softwarerecs.stackexchange.com/questions/2557/…
    – Lynob
    Commented Dec 14, 2014 at 21:31

1 Answer 1


I would recommend investigating running an instance of Calibre Ebook manager in server mode - this will allow you to search on things like tags - even to access the content on mobiles, provided that they have access to the server. You can either leave uploading and tagging as restricted to those with direct access to the server or you can write/find/commission plugins for one or both, (Calibre plugins are written in python and stored in zip files).

Calibre is available for download for OS-X, Win32/64 and Linux plus as a portable app. It is licenced as GNU GPL v3 so your usage should be no problem.

Note that Calibre also allows conversion between several ebook file formats.

Screenshot of accessing content on server via browser: In browser On IPhone On IPhone

  • never knew that u can run it on server
    – Lynob
    Commented Dec 14, 2014 at 21:37
  • You can either start it from the GUI or with the command line calibre-server. Commented Dec 14, 2014 at 21:39
  • good to know! upvote from me :)
    – Lynob
    Commented Dec 14, 2014 at 21:40

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