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RefWorks guide

1. Create an Account

You can create an account on the RefWorks website.

Use your City email details to create a login. Choose your own password. You will receive an activation email to your City email account which you need to click on. You will then be asked to complete a registration form to provide a little information about yourself.

Once your account is created, you can access it from the same Refworks website or from CityLibrary Search.

2. Export Records from CityLibrary Search into RefWorks

  • Type some keywords into CityLibrary Search and from the search results screen, click on the Save this item folder icon to the right of item(s) which interest you and this will turn red, the text labelling changes to Saved items and the reference(s) is saved to a temporary Saved items folder at the top of the screen.
  • From here, you will be able to export citations to RefWorks by clicking on the Saved items folder (top right of screen), selecting RefWorks from the Export to menu and clicking on ProQuest RefWorks from the landing page which appears. (You may be prompted to login to RefWorks if not already logged in). CityLibrary Search showing the active saved item folder which is grouped with the record and the Saved Items folder in the main navigation bar. The folder has a number 1 attached to indicate that 1 item is saved.
Practice: Type some keywords in the CityLibrary search box, select Search and export some references to RefWorks.

3. Editing and Managing References

Editing a reference

  • To edit a reference in RefWorks click on or select to the reference, it will turn blue and you will be able to edit it by selecting the pencil icon labelled Edit the selected document on the right hand panel of the screen.
  • Select Save when finished.
Practice: Edit some references that you have imported from CityLibrary Search or that you have already in RefWorks. Click Cancel if you don't wish to make changes.

Creating and adding references to folders

  • To create a folder, click My Folders dropdown in the left menu in the RefWorks screen and select + Add folder 
  • Give it a name, and click Save.
  • Select some records to add to the folder by checking the reference checkboxes  
  • Select the folder icon at the top left of the screen labelled Assign to Folder
  • Choose the folder to assign thee references to and Select the Apply button.

The Add Folder pop-up says Name your folder, Please enter a name for your new folder.

Practice: Try adding some folders relevant to your research or dissertation and move some references into them.

Creating Bibliographies

You can create a bibliography in RefWorks from a list of your references, without creating a document. This reference list may contain your entire database or selected references.

  • Create a bibliography by clicking on the Create Bibliography button which has the quotes mark  symbol on the top navigation menu of RefWorks
  • Click the Create bibliography link to generate a reference list in your chosen style, using all the references in a particular folder. You can use this to preview your finished list of references, or simply generate a list to copy and paste into your document.
  • If you use Harvard, we recommend the Cite Them Right - Harvard style.
Practice: Create a bibliography of some of your references in the Cite Them Right - Harvard style

5. Exporting References from a Database into RefWorks

All databases are different but usually after doing a search and retrieving results there is usually an option to Save/Mail or Export the results into RefWorks. If this is unclear, please see the Help screen or information on your database.

You can access databases from our list of Databases A-Z usually you will login with your City IT username and password.

Exporting references

Example from Academic Search Complete using the search terms information literacy skills.

  • After doing a search and obtaining results as below, to export references, click on the blue folder icon labelled Add to folder to the right of some results and then the icon(s) will turn yellow - (the state will change to allow you to remove items from folder).Results retrieved on searching Academic Search Complete for Information Literacy, showing two results added to folder.
  • When you have finished searching, click on the yellow folder icon at the top right of the screen labelled Folder (it's state will also be changed to Folder has items) and select the references you wish to export by selecting all or ticking individual boxes to the left of the references and click Export.The folder contents shows the list of items added to folder. The results are numbered and each has a checkbox.
  • Then click Direct Export to RefWorks and then Save. Then click on RefWorks.
    The Export Manager Window listing formatting options for exporting references. The Direct Export to Refworks radio button is selected.
Practice: Perform some searches on Academic Search Complete  and export some references into RefWorks.

6. Export References from Google Scholar into RefWorks

You can import references from Google Scholar into RefWorks. 

  • Firstly click on the drop down menu  (top left of Google Scholar).
  • Select Settings.
  • On the Settings page, under Bibliography manager, choose Refworks and click Save. You will now be able to import individual references into RefWorks.
    The Bibliography manager combi box in Google Scholar. The radio button selected is Show links to import citations into. The selection from the following drop-down list is Refworks.
  • Click on the Import into RefWorks link under a reference of interest to you
  • Then choose RefWorks from the landing page.A list of references from a Google Scholar search. Under each reference is a link to Import into Refworks.
Practice: Go into Google Scholar and change the settings to import into RefWorks.
Search Google Scholar with some keywords and import a record of interest to you into RefWorks.


7. Adding a Document from your Computer or Manually

Upload document

  • Click the plus sign button labelled Add a Reference at the top left of the RefWorks screen.
  • Select Upload document. This will allow you to select documents or PDFs and upload or drag and drop them into RefWorks.  RefWorks will then harvest details from the document to create a reference (you may need to check and edit this depending on the data quality) and because you have uploaded a PDF or document itself you will be able to read and edit it in RefWorks.
  • Alternatively you can drag and drop documents from your computer using File Explorer or My Computer into RefWorks. In this case, you don't need to click on the Add a Reference symbol, just drag and drop the files. If you select a few files, it might take a little while to process.

Import references

  • If you wish to import references from another of your reference management accounts, click on  the link Import references from RefWorks RefWorks Legacy - a previous version of RefWorks) or Mendeley (another reference management software) or a RIS file
  • Select Import references

Create new reference

  • Select the link Create new reference to add a reference manually. You can choose a template eg. journal article and either copy and paste details into the different fields or type it in yourself.The Refworks account showing the add a reference button. The open menu shows the three options Upload document, Import References or Create a new reference.
Practice: Try adding a PDF document from your computer using Upload document.

8. Exporting References from PubMed (using Save to RefWorks)

  • Firstly you need to install the Save to RefWorks bookmarklet tool on your browser.
  • Go into PubMed and conduct a search. A browser showing the Save to Refworks bookmark in the toolbar. The Pubmed webpage is open.
  • When your search results appear, click on the Save to RefWorks bookmark and a RefWorks box will appear on the right of the screen, this lists the results on the page you are viewing. 

  • Select the results you want and click Save to RefWorks at the bottom of the screen.

    A list of Search results with check-boxes in Pubmed. The save to Refworks box is open showing the selected items.