Whoops — an error occurred during processing


I’ve been working on a collaborative document with only a few references (<20) and Paperpile was working working well, but recently (on the order of weeks ago), I’ve been getting the “Whoops — an error occurred during processing.” error. The “show messages” provides the following:

The following problems were encountered while processing your document:
A Google Apps Script error occurred with message “Element does not contain the specified child element.”. Contact Paperpile support to resolve this issue.
One or more of these errors caused processing to not be completed.

I initially felt like it might have to do with an aberrant reference which might have been preventing the script from completing. I removed all references and the error persisted. I then copied and pasted the document into a new file and did a poor-man’s version of debugging by removing text section-by-section until the script ran. Fortunately, the script ran successfully. Unfortunately, the script ran when there were no references in the text. I started to copy back text section-by-section from the previous document until the error occurred again, but this time, when I removed the offending section the formatting was unsuccessful.

I’m not sure what else to try and I really don’t want to re-type the document again and would love to hear any suggestions to help pinpoint this error.

Also, as a future feature request, maybe having more informative error message, such as which line the error occurred at, would help with debugging as opposed to a general “there was en error” message.


Ok so I just found the problem…I think.

A footnote entry was somehow being turned into a bibliography item. When I delete the footnote, the entire document can successfully be formatted. When I try to add it back (on any page), a bibliography item is inserted. This happens even when trying to create a footer to manually enter a footnote.

I cannot seem to recreate this bug since in a new document this doesn’t happen and I can successfully create a footnote, cite references, and format the bibliography.

Not sure what to make of this. This issue is “resolved” for me but the bug is still there.

Usually this issue occurs when part of the bibliography is pasted to the main text or in a footnote. It’s on our list and we hope we can fix this with some other Google Docs issue in an upcoming release. Sorry for the trouble.

I would really appreciate seeing this bug addressed! Solving altogether would be nice, but almost as good would be some debugging information about what reference or page #/line # resulted in the error would help tremendously.

I have encountered it twice in the last few months when dealing with large collaborative documents. The last two days I dug through google doc revision histories searching for the edit that resulted in this “Whoops …” error and found that an inserted reference was the problem. To get it to work I edited the title in paperpile (there were two single quotes instead of a single double quote) then I was able to properly compile the paperpile references.