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I have a simple org-mode file:

This citation inserted using org-ref-insert-cite-with-completion:

cite:solarwinds2020

bibliographystyle:unsrt
bibliography:example.bib

And a bibliography in the same folder:

@MISC{solarwinds2020,
  title={Scope of Russian Hack Becomes Clear: Multiple U.S. Agencies Were Hit},
  author={Sanger, David E. and Perlroth, Nicole and Schmitt, Eric},
  editor={The New York Times},
  month={December},
  year={2020},
  url={https://web.archive.org/web/20201218062201/https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/14/us/politics/russia-hack-nsa-homeland-security-pentagon.html},
  note={[Online; posted 14-December-2020]},
}

When the point is on the cite: text, I get the error message !!! No entry found !!!. Also, the citation is not highlighed. This happens whether I create the citation manually or with org-ref-insert-cite-with-completion.

I should note that exporting to pdf works, and the citation shows up correctly in the generated pdf. But I would like especially for the citations to be highlighted correctly (and show the correct info when the point is on the citation). Any tips?

I'm using emacs 27.2, org 9.5, org-ref 1.1.1, and doom-emacs 2.0.9.

Edit

I discovered by trial and error that if I use M-x org-ref-browser RET and search for any pattern (including no pattern at all, by just hitting RET again), then suddenly all the links work!

Clearly this causes a bunch of things happen under the covers with org-ref and helm, one of them being that org-ref links work.

Is there any way to get this to happen automatically when Emacs starts?

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