Error with Format citations

Working on a Google Doc with ~100 references, my team is experiencing an error when executing the ‘Format citations’ command. The app goes through ‘Analyzing document’, ‘Formatting citations’, and ‘Updating bibliography’ but then throws the error: “Whoops — something went wrong while formatting your document. Please try again or contact support.” I’ve done both but have not been able to get it to work. I’m working on an updated version of Google Chrome on Mac.


I’ve also started having this issue since last night (Oct 16th) with the same error message on my Google Doc and I also have the most recent version of Google Chrome on Mac.

I’m trying to meet a deadline for my PhD thesis this Friday, so I hope we get this resolved ASAP!

Me too, experiencing this issue as of October 17, google doc with 110 citations on google chrome on a PC. glad to know it’s not just me, extremely frustrating though!

Thanks for the reports. We haven’t managed to reproduce this issue on our end yet; it seems to be affecting only a few users so far. Some suggestions to try in the meantime:

  • Restarting the browser and signing out/in of both Paperpile and Google
  • If more than one Google account is signed in on Chrome, please try the same from a fresh Chrome Profile where only the Paperpile-associated account is logged in.
  • Clear your browser’s cache and cookies (or format in incognito mode)
  • Try from another browser to see if the same happens – Paperpile runs on any Chromium-based one like Brave, Vivaldi, MS Edge in case you’re able to use any of them for troubleshooting.

Please let us know if any of this works here or via chat/email ( – your feedback will aid the investigation. Cheers.

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I cleared the cache and cookies, signed out and back into Chrome and now the formatting worked. Thank you!

Thanks for the suggestions. The first two suggestions didnt’ work; however, like Sebastian, clearing the cache and cookies did the trick!
Thank you!

Hi @vicente, I’ve encountered this issue several more last week and today. I’ve tried to clear the cache and cookies several times and the outcomes are inconsistent. Sometimes clearing works, and sometimes it doesn’t.

Is there a more long-term/stable solution?

@ytakemon I’ve replied to your email report so you can share the document there if needed. Let me know.

I’m stuck with this error now. Have tried signing in and out, clearing cookies, using Brave. No luck I’m afraid. Any progress on understanding the causes of this?

@Keirdre have you attempted formatting citations in other documents, just to see if it works? Something else to try would be copy/pasting the contents of the document to a fresh Google Doc and formatting there, as well as downloading to Word format and using our Word plugin to convert and format the citations (then you can re-convert to GDocs).

If that’s still not working on your end, would it be possible to share the document via chat or email ( for us to take a look? We won’t share or keep it beyond troubleshooting, but if privacy’s a concern you can make a copy, delete most of the text and leave the in-text citations – we just need to see their code. Let me know.

Hello Vicente, thanks for your reply. It worked when I created a copy of the document into a fresh Google Doc. I’ll send you the links to both by support email to see if you can figure out the problem. In the original doc, there is a collaborator who was also experimenting with Paperpile. Would that cause an issue? I didn’t invite him to the new copy and it worked.