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Sciwheel: Troubleshooting

Guide to registering, setting up, and using the Sciwheel bibliographic citation manager.

Created by Health Science Librarians

"404" error or browser extension not working after 6/10/22

NOTE for users who registered for Sciwheel prior to 6/10/22: 

  • New registration & login link: < >
    • Update your bookmarks
  • If you installed the browser extension prior to 6/10/22, and you are getting an error message when you try to use it, you may need to uninstall, then re-install the browser extension for each browser you use for Sciwheel.
    • Clear your browser cache/cookies. 
    • If that, alone doesn't work, uninstall/reinstall your browser extensions
      • Method 1: depending upon your browser/version, you may have the option to right click the extension itself in the browser to remove it or to select manage extensions to uninstall and/or update it,
      • Method 2: (example below is Firefox)
        • Login to your Sciwheel account
        • Go to Tools pulldown menu and select browser extension
        • This should take you to a browser extension page for the Sciwheel extension, where you can uninstall your existing browser extension, then re-install it.
    • Sign in to the newly installed browser extension
    • You may have to sign back out of your Sciwheel account, then sign back in again to make the newly installed extension work.



  • IF all else fails, here is a temporary work-around, while we are developing a solution:
    • Sign out of all Sciwheel instances, then sign back in via rather than the usual link. 
    • You will now be in "roaming" mode.This will work for up to 120 days at a time.
    • You will need to reset the 120 day "counter" either by logging in from signing in from campus or via the usual links from our website,
    • If you are unable to come to campus or have trouble signing in via our website links before the 120 days of roaming expire, you may notice your account has become the free/basic type instead of the premium UNC institutional account. Have no fear, your citations will all still be there and you can convert back to the premium institutional account by contacting Sciwheel support for assistance.

Troubleshoot: Account Expiration

  • Your account "expired" (you may see a countdown to when it will expire) OR it reverted to the free/Basic account (limited projects allowed):
    • This may be due to off-campus roaming for more than 120 days (see below). 
    • It is also possible that you signed up for a free 30-day trial account, instead of our free UNC institutional account.
      • you can manually associate your account with UNC: log off (use pull down menu next to the circle with your initials near the top right) and re-log on from the special link on UNC HSL's website < > , which will associate your account with UNC. You can check that your account is now a UNC Institutional account, by using the pull down menu as above to go to "Account" and then using the menu on the left to go to "Subscription" to check. . 
      • OR just message Sciwheel support and they will shift your account to the full, institutional access for UNC
  • Off-campus roaming: currently, users must log on through our proxy server (i.e., using the links from the HSL site or guides) OR from campus at least once every 120 days. If you use links from the HSL website that take you via our proxy server, the counter should re-set.  You may need to log out and sign back in from the HSL website link for the expiration message to disappear,
    • If you are unable to do either of these or it doesn't work, message Sciwheel support and they will reset your roaming counter. If you are a UNC distance education student or you are permanently assigned off campus, please let them know.  

Troubleshoot: proxy access interferes with browser extension installing

A note about proxy access interfering with browser extension installing: very occasionally (we rarely have seen this at UNC, so far) users accessing Sciwheel via a proxy server are unable to install the browser extension (in tools). If this happens, try this:

  • Click on the circle with your initials at the top of the page and log out. 
  • Then try logging on from here:
  • Install the extension, log back off, then connect back through the proxy by using one of the regular links from the HSL website or this:    
  • If this doesn’t work, message Sciwheel support for assistance. 

Troubleshoot: Can't upload PDF’s from the cloud

Unable to upload PDF’s via Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive due to an authentication issue?

  • Connect to Sciwheel directly at, complete the upload, then reconnect to the proxy from the HSL website Sciwheel link. 
  • You may also be able to accomplish this by using a second browser (not authenticated through UNC’s proxy server) and connecting directly to Sciwheel at
  • See, also Sciwheel FAQ on Adding References > Importing PDFs 

Citation/Bibliography: Known UNC Issues

UNC Chapel Hill: Known issues and workarounds for Sciwheel

Issue 1:

I’m trying to use the generate bibliography/copy citation features of the website and getting a message saying “Unable to fetch citation style”

Cause: This is caused by some conflicts with the UNC proxy. You can tell if you’re logged in via proxy by looking at the URL – if it contains the text, for example then you’re using the proxy and these features won’t work here.

Solution: It’s an easy fix – you can stay logged in via the proxy in your current tab to validate your institutional access, and just open a new tab in your browser and enter (so you’re not seeing the in the URL). This means you’re logged in to us directly rather than through the proxy, and you can use the generate bibliography/copy citation features in this tab without an issue.

Issue 2:

I’m trying to use the Word add-in in Word Online (the browser-based version of Word) and my citations/bibliography aren’t updating

Cause: This is caused by a bug on Microsoft’s end of the code

Solution: Unfortunately this is out of our hands, we’ve logged the bug with Microsoft and

are waiting for a fix. The citations/bibliography will update eventually, it just takes a while. As an alternative, please use either the desktop version of Word, or Google Docs to cite and format references.

Word Desktop Version

There are occasionally issues that can arise with the desktop version of Word as well, the most common issues and fixes for them are covered in the support article located here: updating-or-generating-in-word-desktop-version

Troubleshoot: When all else fails

Sciwheel support has been outstanding and this has continued as they've rebranded to Sciwheel.  You can message them from within Sciwheel, and you will generally receive a response within a few hours. 

  • Email for HELP (Sciwheel) or use the Sciwheel Message/Chat icon in Sciwheel:   F1000Workspace Support Message/Chat Button
  • Don't forget HSL Ask Us at the top of every HSL web page.