# Manuscript Writing – The “Nuances” of Using Authorea

I’m currently trying to write a manuscript covering our genotype-by-sequencing data for the Olympia oyster using the Authorea.com platform and am encountering some issues that are a bit frustrating. Here’s what’s happening (and the ways I’ve managed to get around the problems).

PROBLEM: Authorea spits out a browser-crashing “unresponsive script” message (actually, lots and lots of them; clicking “Stop script” or “Continue” just results in additional messages) in Firefox (haven’t tried any other browsers). This renders the browser inoperable and I have to force quit. It doesn’t happen all of the time, so it’s hard to pinpoint what triggers this.

SOLUTION: Edit documents in Git/GitHub. I have my Authorea manuscript linked to a GitHub repo, which allows me to write without using Authorea.com. This is how I’ll be doing my writing the majority of the time anyway, but I would like to use Authorea.com to insert and manage citations…

PROBLEM: Authorea remains in a perpetual “saving…” state after inserting a citation. It also renders the page strangely, with HTML <br></br> tags (see the “Methods” section in the screen cap below).

SOLUTION: Type additional text somewhere, anywhere. This is an OK solution, but is particularly annoying if I just want to go through and add citations and have no intentions of doing any writing.

PROBLEM: Multi-author citations don’t get formatted with “et al.” By default, Authorea inserts all citations using the following LaTeX format:

\cite{Elshire_2011}

Result: (Elshire 2011).

This is a problem because this reference has multiple authors and should be written as: (Elshire et al., 2011).

SOLUTION: Change citation format to:

\citep{Elshire_2011}

Other citation formatting options can be found here (including multiple citations within one set of parentheses, and referring in-text author name with only publication year in parentheses):

How to add and manage citations and references in Authorea

PROBLEM: When a citation no longer exists in the manuscript, it still persists in the bibliography.

SOLUTION: A known bug with no current solution. Currently, have to delete them from the bibliography by hand (or, maybe figure out a way to do it programatically)…

PROBLEM: Cannot click-and-drag some references from Mendeley (haven’t tested other reference managers) without getting an error. To my knowledge, the BibTeX is valid, as it appears to be the same formatting as other references that can be inserted via the click-and-drag method. There are some references it won’t work for…

SOLUTION: Use the search bar in the citation insertion dialogue box. Not as convenient and slows down the workflow for citation insertion, but it works…