Migrating from Endnote: all citations become [Citation error]


This is quite time-sensitive (although that’s my own problem), so if whoever reads this happens to have some time to help me out, it would be immensely appreciated. Thanks in advance!

I am trying to migrate a set of EndNote citations in a Word document into Paperpile format. I have a Main Text document with EndNote citations, and a Methods document with Paperpile citations. I have an RIS file that my coworker sent me that contains all of the citations from the Main Text document. I’ve downloaded EndNote (a month-long free trial of the full version of EndNote 21).

Everything seems to go fine until the very last step, where instead of converting the citations from EndNote to Paperpile, it converts them all to [Citation error].

I’m following these two guides, sequentially:

Migrate from Endnote | Paperpile Help Center

I have completed steps described here (although I don’t have the “.Data” folder, but that shouldn’t matter, because I don’t need PDFs to generate citations/a Reference list). So now I have all of the references from the Main Text loaded into Paperpile and grouped into a folder named endnote-import-24.

How to migrate EndNote citations in MS Word to Paperpile | Paperpile Help Center

Download and install the Paperpile style for EndNote

  1. Download the Paperpile.ens style file.


  1. Double-click it, it should open in EndNote.


  1. In EndNote follow the instructions and save the Paperpile style file via File > Save As… and click Save.

I'm not sure which instructions this is referring to; when I double-click it, this window pops up:

I'm assuming (perhaps erroneously) that I don't need to change add or change anything here. So I just go to File > Save as..., at which point I see:

So I just click Save.

Prepare your Word document with EndNote citations for conversion

  1. Open you [sic; to bring this typo to your attention] document, go to the EndNote X9 [the button says EndNote 21] > Style: and select the Paperpile style. If you can’t see it in the short list, use Style: > Select another style… to find it.


  1. Click Update Citations and Bibliography.


Convert to Paperpile citations

  1. In Word, select Paperpile > Settings and Tools > Convert from > EndNote.`


  1. A confirmation box will appear. Click Convert to convert your EndNote citations to Paperpile citations and wait for the conversion to finish.

I do this, and then this window appears:

And then when I look through the document, 100% of the citations are now [Citation error].

I saved a backup copy of the document both before I started this process and at the stage where the citations were converted to Endnote’s paperpile style, i.e. following Endnote > Style > paperpile, after which the citations appear as this format:



So yeah, if I could get some assistance getting the citations to convert correctly, that would be great. Thanks!

OS: macOS 14.3.1 23D60 arm64
Microsoft® Word for Mac, Version 16.82 (24021116), License: Microsoft 365 Subscription
Paperpile: 0.8.1Preformatted textThis text will be hidden

Welcome to the forum @paperpiledriver. Please check out the second video in this forum post where we show how to migrate EndNote citations to Paperpile in Word, but it sounds like you followed the steps correctly. Would you mind sharing the document with us before converting or the original document with the exported EndNote library so that our Word specialist can investigate the issue? You can share the document with us by emailing support@paperpile.com or contacting us via the in-app chat.

Thanks @suzanne. I sent you the documents via the in-app chat this morning, but I think I just realized what was causing the problem: the file that I was trying to do this was the Main Text + Methods section, where the Methods section (with citations generated by Paperpile) was pasted at the end of the Main Text a few months ago. So the document contained Paperpile citations/reference list as well as EndNote citations/reference list.

Once I deleted the Methods section and its reference list, the conversion worked fine. Sorry, I should have thought about that. Thanks for your reply but I think I’m all set now, at least with regards to issue. Hopefully the rest of the process goes smoothly.


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Thank you for the follow up, @paperpiledriver. Our Word specialist confirmed that the reason for the error you saw was that there was a mixture of EndNote and Paperpile citations in the document. That doesn’t work at the moment, but we are aware of this limitation and we will try to improve it in the future by providing a clearer error message.