Integrated citations via Overleaf not always working [?]


I have noticed that throughout the past year, when I have been citing on overleaf using the integrated paperpile feature, some of my references randomly turn to [?] after I sync the bib file. I don’t know if it is because the information in the bib file changes automatically in paperpile, when i auto update information so it loses track of the old one, or if it is something else.

I can’t exactly provide a full report of the situation here, because my subscription has now expired and I am trying to determine whether to renew it. If this problem is fixable, I will renew. But the fact that I was constantly having to fiddle around with references and re-cite things, because something was changing when i synced the bib file, was very problematic. It was manageable in small documents, but when I come to write my thesis I do not have the patience to be battling with 200 disappearing references.

Any assistance / pointers would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks :slight_smile:

@mat welcome to the forum, and thank you for your feedback.

One potential cause of this issue is having abstracts included in the exported .bib file can sometimes lead to TeX parsing errors in Overleaf, so we recommend deselecting that option in Paperpile Settings:

Another potential cause is Overleaf limits BibTeX file size, even on Professional plans. This results in the full .bib file not being available in the document. If linking your library results in a very large .bib file, we recommend linking a Paperpile folder or label with only the references you need to your Overleaf project instead.

For a thesis with a large number of references, a potential workaround could be to link multiple Paperpile BibTeX Export workflows to your Overleaf project (e.g., categorized by chapter), which will generate separate .bib files (you will need to give them different file names, otherwise Overleaf will return an error message), and include them at the end of your LaTeX document as \bibliography{filename1, filename2, etc.}.