Q. When I try to insert a citation in my NIH grant application, I get an error that reads “Object reference not set to an instance of an object."

I'm using Write-n-Cite to insert citations.


I recently asked RefWorks Support what one should do when one sees “Object reference not set to an instance of an object” when using Write-n-Cite 4 (In case you don’t know which version of Write-n-Cite (WNC) you’re using:  WNC 4 produces a “RefWorks” ribbon in Word for Windows and a Write-n-Cite toolbar in Word for Mac.  WNC III is launched from within the Add-Ins ribbon in Word.).


Here’s what RefWorks tech support asked that I try:

  1. First make sure that an output style is selected in WNC 4.
    • If you can’t select an output style, try saving and closing your document and then updating java on your computer.  Open an internet browser, go to java.com and download and install java. When you've installed java reopen your document.  Can you select a style now? 
    • If the above isn't helpful, try logging out of WNC 4 and then log back in.
  2. Another thing to try is closing Word and then re-opening it.  You may want to try restarting the computer as Word will go through a full restart after the computer has been shut down and restarted.


By the way, there is an “NIH” output style available in RefWorks.


  • Last Updated Jun 14, 2017
  • Views 227
  • Answered By Cindy Schmidt

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