Paperpile citations invalid


I downloaded my completed paper for editing by collaborators ( presumably in Word) and when I reuploaded, some citations are invalid and others arent. I have upwards of 80 references and the reASON I use paperpile is to make managing references easy. If i have to go back and fix it up manually, that makes this useless. Why is this happening? How do I fix it??

Can you please explain what “invalid” means. Also what means “presumably in Word”. It would be important to know how they edited your document. We have tested exporting to Word and re-importing to Google Docs and in principle it it round-trip safe.

That said, Paperpile citations are URLs of the form and if these get corrupted outside of Docs it’s not under our control.

Can you check the URLs of the citations which are “invalid”.

Hi Stefan,

I have had the same issue just now myself - details below

  1. I created a manuscript using google docs and paperpile.

  2. I downloaded the manuscript from google docs as a word file and sent the manuscript to an editor.

  3. I received the word document back from the editor with track changes.

  4. I uploaded the word document with track changes to drive and then converted it into a google doc.

  5. All of the paperpile hyperlinks are marked as invalied by paperpile.

  6. when I view the path by clicking edit URL they all direct to: http:///h

I think that somehow the url links have been corrupted in the google docs / paperpile import process, any suggestions on how to fix this?

Can you double-check each step to see at which step they links got lost? Otherwise it’s hard to tell what’s the problematic step in this process.

I would start with the Word file you got from the editor first to see if the links are still in there. You should be able to click them and get to a valid website with the citations.

Hi Stefan,

The links are still present in the word file I received from the editor. I can click on them and they take me to the citation, the problem occurs once the file is uploaded and converted to a google doc.

If the content is not too sensitive, can you send us the Word file ( so we can see what’s going wrong in the conversion problem. I can’t promise anything since it’s a Word/Google Docs issue but perhaps we can find out more.

I don’t know if you ever got to the bottom of this problem. I had a similar experience today - but I found that the problem arises only when using Word files in .doc format, not .docx.

A colleague edited my document in Word and returned it to me in .doc format. When I opened the edited document in Word, the references all still contained valid links to the citation on The Paperpile links were retained when I opened the document in “Office Compatability Mode” in Google Docs. But then, when I selected “Save as Google Docs” in order to continue editing, all the Paperpile links were replaced by http:///h .

So I then tried opening the .doc file in Word and saving it in .docx format. When I opened the .docx file in Google Docs and selected “Save as Google Docs”, the Paperpile links were retained.

Now that I’ve figured it out, this is amazing functionality to have. I can now continue working on my paper in Google Docs, adding/changing references with Paperpile, even though the earlier version was edited in Word. Thank you!

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Thank you Rob!

I just reproduced this and it behaves as you describe. Thank you for digging some more and letting us know!

In the last week I’ve noticed that Paperpile doesn’t recognize citations that are in a “suggested” change in GoogleDocs. If I accept the change, it will update the citation and format it correctly, etc. Not sure if this is the entire issue others are having, but this is a consistent issue I’ve just noticed.


I’m facing the exact same problem as described and it’s very annoying. Any help would be great.

I found that when accepting the suggestions in Google Docs, the refs did not update properly. When I first accepted all the suggestions in Word that contained any paperpile references and then upload the file to Google Docs, all the refs are fine.

So for some reason Google docs cannot import paperpile-links under suggestion and just for the fun of it, it will take down all the other references in the document as well.

Ok, I thought that it worked but just found out most references are still lost… :frowning:

Thanks for looking into that. There are serious issues with Google Docs Word import. And is has gotten worse recently. We just isolated and filed a bug with Google that crashes not only Paperpile but any other plugin as well whenever a Word document with a page break is imported.

As there are many scenarios (different Word version, track changes on/off,…) we only can advice to find a way for your particular use case that preserves the links when imported. Then Paperpile can format the citations. If this does not work please contact Google Docs support.