Right now, it seems like whatever application you start using for citations is the one you must stick with to the end because fully cited documents in Google docs cannot be downloaded and references edited in Word (and vice versa); seems to be equivalent of conversion to plain text. This is essential to prevent re-doing the citations from scratch.
Perhaps this can be accomplished with an 'unformat' citations function, such that any newly opened file can be scanned and references detected.
When working with colleagues, we often share files by uploading to a Google Drive. When these files are viewed only (open in Google docs option given in preview), then downloaded, the references remain editable. However, if the document is edited via Google doc, then the citations are not longer editable. Other colleagues want to do all writing and citing in Google docs until the very end, at which point the text editing capabilities are not sufficient and download will require starting over with citations.
Any solutions appreciated.