Refworks

 Refworks Logo

RefWorks is a web-based tool to help you collect and manage your references. You can use RefWorks anywhere as long as you first logon to the University Portal.

Find out how to use RefWorks including guides, FAQs, videos and other advice from our RefWorks Help pages. For help on specific queries or problems contact the Information Centre.

Use the RefWorks Mini Guide to help you get started collecting references and creating a bibliography.

Use the Write-N-Cite 4 Mini Guide for help with citing references in the text of your documents.

RefWorks 2.0 is also available for University of Stirling alumni. Once you graduate, you can transfer all of the references you have saved to RefWorks as a student to your new RefWorks alumni account. Contact the Library for more information. 

 

Videos

We at Stirling have made a few videos to help with the basics, they are all available on YouTube:

 

Videos

RefWorks have made lots of videos to help you. They now have created a an official Refworks channel on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/proquestrefworks. On this dedicated channel, you'll find over 50 video tutorials that will teach you about everything that RefWorks can do for you! These videos are grouped together in playlists, from the most general of orientations to more advanced technical feature overviews.

Here are the playslists

LSU Health Sciences Centre has created a video for Write-N-Cite and for RefGrab-It.

Longer videos - recorded RefWorks webinars

To watch these videos you must download an Event Manager plug-in, it only takes a couple of minutes, no Admin rights required! Visit the RefWorks' web page for a full list of recorded webinars, which include the following:

You can also enroll for live webinars and subscribe to their RSS feed by visiting RefWorks Webinars.

Converting to Refworks

Reference Manager to RefWorks

Easy steps to converting from Reference Manager to RefWorks (details from RefWorks Ready Reference Guide Converting from Other Bibliographic Management Software)

Note:  When importing large amounts of references, it is recommended to import no more than 2500 records (or 3MB of files) at a single time.  This will ensure a successful import.

 

  1. From Reference Manager, select the references you want to export.
  2. Under the References menu select Export.
  3. Either use the default file name or create a new file for exporting references. Select the RIS format and the appropriate References Option.
  4. Click Export.
  5. Go into RefWorks and from the References menu select Import.
  6. Select Desktop Biblio. Mgt. Software as your Import Filter and Reference Manager (RIS Format) as your Database.
  7. Browse for and select the file you just created from Reference Manager.
  8. Click on Import at the bottom of the Import window. The progress in importing is measured by * for each reference imported. RefWorks will notify you when the import is complete.
  9. Your records should automatically appear in the Last Imported folder.

Here is a video explaining how to convert your references:

RefWorks Classic: Converting from Reference Manager to RefWorks by Jason High (15 min.)

 

ProCite to RefWorks

Easy steps to converting from ProCite to RefWorks (details from RefWorks Ready Reference Guide Converting from Other Bibliographic Management Software)

To import records into RefWorks from ProCite it is necessary to obtain an output filter from ISI ResearchSoft Technical Support. Download the filter hereThis filter, RIS.pos, will be used to export your data in the RIS format.  After obtaining the filter, place it in ProCite's Styles folder. This folder's default location is C:/Program Files/Procite5/Styles.

Note:  When importing large amounts of references, it is recommended to import no more than 2500 records (or 3MB of files) at a single time.  This will ensure a successful import. 

 

  1. From within ProCite select Print Bibliography from the File menu
  2. Select the RIS output style (be sure to configure the RIS output to include all desired fields).
  3. Select Save, and Text Only as your file type
  4. Give the file a name and select a location
  5. Go into RefWorks and from the References menu select Import
  6. Select Desktop Biblio. Mgt. Software as your Import Filter
  7. Select ProCite (RIS Format) as your Database
  8. Browse for and select the file you just created from ProCite
  9. Click on Import at the bottom of the Import window. The progress in importing is measured by * for each reference imported. RefWorks will notify you when the import is complete.
  10. Your records should automatically appear in the Last Imported folder.

Here is a video explaining how to convert your references:

RefWorks Classic: Converting from ProCite to RefWorks by Jason High (18 min.)

EndNote to RefWorks

Easy steps to converting from EndNote to RefWorks (details from RefWorks Ready Reference Guide Converting from Other Bibliographic Management Software)

Note:  RefWorks has a feature that will allow you to upload your EndNote version 8 library directly into RefWorks.  All other versions of EndNote will require you to export the records from EndNote and import them into RefWorks (see instructions

at the end of this section).

 

EndNote 8 or 9 (EndNote 10 users see below):

  1. Go into RefWorks and from the References menu select Import EndNote V8+ Database.
  2. Browse for and select your EndNote library (.enl).  Note: Currently there is a 25 MB import limit on the size your EndNote library.
  3. Specify a folder to import your records into (optional)
  4. Click on Import at the bottom of the Import window. The progress in importing is measured by * for each reference imported. RefWorks will notify you when the import is complete.
  5. Your records should automatically appear in the Last Imported folder.

 

EndNote Version 7 or lower and EndNote 10 only:

To export records from EndNote:

EndNote 10 users:

Note:  When importing large amounts of references, it is recommended to import no more than 2500 records (or 3MB of files) at a single time.  This will ensure a successful import.

  1. From EndNote, select the correct Output Style for the export. Under the Edit menu select Output Styles.
  2. From the list of output styles select RefMan (RIS) Export select it. (Note: If you do not see this format, open the Style Manager and check the RefMan format. Close the Style Manager and repeat steps 1 and 2).
  3. Select the references you want to export.
  4. Under the Reference menu select Show Selected (or Show All if you wish to export the entire database).
  5. Under the File menu select Export.
  6. A dialog box appears for you to select the location where you want to save the file. Type a file name and select a location for importing into RefWorks. Select Text as your Save As type and click Save.
  7. Go into RefWorks and from the References menu select Import.
  8. Select Desktop Biblio. Mgt. Software as your Import Filter and EndNote (Ref Man RIS Format) as your Database. Make sure you select the appropriate Mac or Windows version.
  9. Browse for and select the file you just created from EndNote.
  10. Click on Import at the bottom of the Import window. The progress in importing is measured by * for each reference imported. RefWorks will notify you when the import is complete. View the Imported References.
  11. Your records should automatically appear in the Last Imported folder.

Here is a video explaining how to convert your references:

RefWorks Classic: Converting from EndNote to RefWorks by Jason High (26 min.)

Microsoft Access, Excel and Word to RefWorks

For instructions for all of the above Office packages download:

RefWorks Ready Reference Guide: Converting Microsoft Access, Excel and Word File .

For Bibliographies prepared in Word we have found that using BibTex to convert the references into records and then import them into RefWorks seems to work quite well. Refworks Bibtext  Note: There will be an element of checking and editing references.

Importing from Databases

Please start with our Importing from Databases and reading lists guide. 

Other databases and journal web pages use different process to import references into RefWorks. Many have a direct export option. If there is no direct export option you usually need to export your list of references as a .txt file or a .ris file and then import this file into RefWorks using a filter.

There is information from RefWorks about how to import files and here is a short video:

The University of Arkansas Library web page has a great database of filters.

If you are a Law student using OSCOLA, the Law Librarian has created Refworks Law

Styles & Bibliography

Using styles and creating your bibliorgaphy may be daunting at first, but here is some information to make it as easy as possible! Write-N-Cite from RefWorks is a Microsoft Word add-in which allows you to cite references directly into your Word document in your chosen style and easily create and add a bibliography to your essay or article. Below are step-by-step instructions to install and use Write-N-Cite. These instructions are designed to help with the most common difficulties or functions; for specific or complex queries, please contact the Information Centre.

YOUR SUBJECT'S STYLE AND REFWORKS

At Stirling you can study 3 subjects at the same time and each of these may require you to use a different referencing style. It may be, amongst others, Harvard, MLA, MHRA, APA, or their own style (we are working on adding each subject's custom styles to RefWorks). RefWorks lets you select which style to use and converts your citations and bibliography to match this style.

But remember:

  • RefWorks makes it easier to create your bibliography and gather information for your references , but it can’t do it all! Your bibliography is still your responsibility,YOU must check all of the details.
  • Check the imported information is accurate and that the bibliography and your referencing within the text of your essay comply with your subjects’ intructions and stylesheets.
  • Even though you use Write-N-Cite, you will still have to edit the citation to include page numbers or perhaps to add punctuation.

If you cannot see your subject's style in the list of Output Styles in the Bibliography area of RefWorks, click on Access Output Style Manager:

Refworks Style manager

This will open the entire list of styles RefWorks offers and you can scroll down and choose a style to add to your favourites:

Refworks Output Style

Once you have clicked on Add to Favorites the style will move to your Favorites list and is then visible in the Output Style list in RefWorks' Bibliography area:

Refworks Style List

To make sure your in-text citations match your subject's style, use Write-N-Cite.

Installing Write N Cite

  1. Download/Install Write N Cite:

    1. Students / Off Campus / Own Laptop or Computer:Write-N-Cite can be downloaded directly from RefWorks, got to Tools; Write-N-Cite.

    2. Staff - Office Computers:If you are a member of staff you can install Write-N-Cite on you office computer using Run Advertised Programs.

  2. Locate the Program:

    1. Desktop Icon:Once installed there should be a Write n Cite icon on your desktop

    2. Word Button:a button will appear in the Add-Ins ribbon in Word.

  3. Launching the Program/Logging in:

    1. When you double-click on the desktop icon or click on the button in Word, Write-N-Cite will ask you to log in to RefWorks again, but you cannot do this directly through the Portal. Click on Login through your institution (Shibboleth users)

    2. Choose Stirling from the drop down list

    3. RefWorks will then take you to the Portal where you login as usual with your University of Stirling username and password. You will not need a Group Code

Using Write N Cite

1.Create a folder

Folders help you organise your references and create bibliographies easily.

Create a folder and save all of the references you are using for your essay or article to this folder. When you open Write-N-Cite, select the folder you wish to cite from.

refworks

2.Cite a reference

Once you have opened a particluar folder, the references from this folder are listed and ready to be cited. To cite a particular reference directly in to your essay, simply have the cursor in the correct place in your Word document and click on Cite.

refworks

3.How your citation appears in Word

A citation marker will appear in your essay in Word, like this.

refworks

The grayed curly brackets are just a marker and will look like a normal citation once the process is finished

refworks

4.Edit the citation

You can edit the citation, adding in the exact page numbers you have used and any other punctuationrequired by your subject's style by clicking on the citation in Word and then on Edit Citation in the Write-N-Cite window.

refworks

When you click on Edit Citation, you are given the option to choose your Output Style, Preview the style, and add the page numbers and other details as necessary.

refworks

The citation in Word is updated to include the page numbers and looks like this.

refworks

Once you have finished writing your essay and have included all of your citations, you are then ready to create you bibliography.

Creating Your Bibliography

1. Click on Bibliography in the Write-N-Cite window

Write-N-Cite creates you bibliography for you from the references in your specified RefWorks' folder. This couldn't be easier!

refworks write and cite

2. Select Output Style and Create Bibliography

Then select the Output style you want to use, your subject's style, and click on Create Bibliography! That's it!

refworks

Write-N-Cite will resolve the in-text citation markers and add a bibliography to the end of your essay.

refworks write and cite

3. Check bibliography and edit if needed

Remember to check the bibliography displays correctly and edit it if there are mistakes in the layout or information. (Note: the featured reference has been manipluated for this example - the true page range for the chapter is pp. 79 - 90). If you edit the bibliography directly in Word, this will not update the reference in RefWorks. Instead go to RefWorks, find the reference (if you have lots of references use RefWorks' Search function) and click on Edit.

Follow step 2 above again so that RefWorks can update the created bibliography in your Word document with any changes you have made.

refworks

Mistakes can be made when RefWorks pulls information in to create references, this is particularly so if you are using RefGrab-It. Make sure the correct information is in the correct fields of the reference.

Help & FAQS

These FAQs are from the RefWorks' help pages, some amendments have been made to reflect the different options offered at Stirling. For further advice please contact the Information Centre.

FAQs

 

What is Refworks?

What is Refworks?

Accessing Refworks

How do I access Refworks?
I’ve forgotten my login name and password. How can I get them?
How can I find out more about RefWorks?
Where are my references stored?

Getting Information into your Refworks database

How can I import results of searches into RefWorks?
Can I export references directly from online databases to my RefWorks account?
If an import filter does not exist for the database I am using, who should I contact to see if one can be built?
When I try to export references from an online database with a RefWorks option, nothing happens. What do I do?
I imported some records from an online database and the information didn’t import correctly. Why?

Formatting Your Paper Using Refworks

What is Write-N-Cite and what does it do?
I’m a Mac user. Will Write-N-Cite work on my Mac?
Why doesn't Write-N-Cite work on my computer?
Can I have both Write-N-Cite and the full version of RefWorks open at the same time?
I prefer to write my paper off line. Can I print out a list of references with RefIDs and how do I manually insert the citations in the text?
My bibliography is not coming out correctly. Why? 
I received an error message when I tried to generate my bibliography. What can I do?
Why does my bibliography have incorrect data included in the output document?
I added some fields to an output style and they are not printing?
I created my own output style and some of my references in my database do not print out. How do I fix this?
What if my output (journal) style is not available?
How do I give a colleague my custom output style?

About Your Refworks Database

How do I search my RefWorks database?
How many references can I store in RefWorks? Is there a limit?
How many folders can I create in RefWorks? Is there a limit?
How do I tell which folders contain a specific reference?
Quick Access Bar 
Can I put a reference into more than one folder?
If I delete a reference from a folder, is it deleted from my database?
What fields does the Search RefWorks box search?
How can I easily find duplicate records in my database and then remove them?
I did a search of my University’s catalogue from the RefWorks Search/Online Catalog or Database area and it didn’t show up in my results (and I know it is there!). Why?
Is there a limit to the data I can put in the notes and abstract fields?
How do I back up my references?
I'm using Mozilla FireFox and having problems accessing. Is there a solution?

Converting to/from Other Bibliographic Management Software

How do I import references from my EndNote database?
Converting EndNote databases
Can I move my RefWorks database into another database program?

Continuing Your RefWorks Subscription

What happens when I graduate or if I leave my University?
My institution subscribes to RefWorks. What happens to my data if they decide to cancel next year?

 

What is RefWorks?

A. RefWorks is web-based bibliographic software package that enables you to:

  • Organize your research
  • Include citations while you write your paper
  • Build a bibliography in a variety of formats
  • Import references from many data sources
  • Create bibliographies in different document formats (Word, RTF, HTML, etc.)

Being web-based means no software to download and update, and you can access your personal account from any computer connected to the internet. 

RefWorks simplifies the process of documenting sources in your paper by turning this: (sample information about a book in a library catalogue)...

Author, etc.: Finkelman, Paul, 1949-
Title: Slavery and the founders : race and liberty in the age of Jefferson / Paul Finkelman.
Edition: 2nd ed.
Publisher: Armonk, N.Y. : M.E. Sharpe,
Date: c2001.
Type of material: Book
Description: xii, 296 p. ; 24 cm.
Notes: Includes bibliographical references (p. 253-265) and index.
Contents: 1. Making a Covenant with Death: Slavery and the Constitutional Convention -- 2. Slavery and the Northwest Ordinance, 1787: A Study in Ambiguity -- 3. Evading of Ordinance: The Persistence of Bondage in Indiana and Illinois -- 4. Implementing
the Proslavery Constitution: The Adoption of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1793 -- 5. The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Federalism -- 6. "Treason Against the Hopes of the World": Thomas Jefferson and Slavery -- 7. Thomas Jefferson, Sally Hemings, and Antislavery: Historians and Myths. Library of Congress subject headings: Slavery—Law and legislation--United States--History.
Slavery--United States--History.
ISBN: 0765604388 (alk. paper)

...into this (sample entry from a list of references. APA style) with minimal effort while still preserving all of the detailed information about that source for future use:

Finkelman, P. (2001). Slavery and the founders: race and liberty in the age of Jefferson (2nd ed.). Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe.

How do I access RefWorks?

Log in to the University of Stirling Portal https://portal.stir.ac.uk/my-portal.jsp then from the Resources tab click on the link Login to RefWorks

You may encounter a bug when I trying to login to RefWorks that prevents you getting access - see the guide on Problems Logging in to RefWorks.

If you have any problems, please contact the Information Centre

I’ve forgotten my login name and password. How can I get them?

Login through the University Portal - if you have forgotten your network username and password contact the Information Centre: 01786 46 (7250)

How can I find out more about RefWorks?

The online help and tutorials are very useful.   There is also a Quick Start Card you can download (you’ll need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this.  Download this for free at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html).

Access RefWorks Helphttp://www.refworks.com/Refworks/help/Refworks.htm

Access the RefWorks Tutorials http://www.refworks.com/tutorial

RefWorks Quick Start Guide: http://www.refworks.com/refworks/help/quickstartguide.pdf

All of these are also available when working within RefWorks.

Where are my references stored?

All your database of references is stored on the RefWorks server. You can access them from anywhere by accessing your account via the University of Stirling Portal.  You can also make your own backup copy of your database (in a zipped file not suitable for viewing) from the RefWorks Tools/Backup/Restore feature).  This backup can only be used with the Restore feature in RefWorks.

How can I import results of searches into RefWorks?

RefWorks uses filters to import records into your personal database.  After you perform a search in an online data source, you would save the results as a text file (.txt).  Many of the online data vendors can be imported into RefWorks.  For a complete list of the import filters in RefWorks, click here: http://www.refworks.com/Refworks/importdbs.asp

Can I export references directly from online databases to my RefWorks account?

Yes. Many databases allow results of your searches to be exported directly to RefWorks, so you don’t have to download or e-mail them.  For a complete list of data vendors with direct export to RefWorks, click here: http://www.refworks.com/content/products/direct_export.asp

If an import filter does not exist for the database I am using, who should I contact to see if one can be built?

RefWorks has import filters built for importing bibliographic record information for many databases and data vendors. If you do not find an import filter for the database that you use, you can request that RefWorks look into creating one. While logged into your RefWorks account select Help/Contact Us.  There is also a link to request an import filter in the Import area.

Keep in mind that it may not be possible always to create a filter for importing record information from your database. Often, it depends on how the database provider tags and organises the record information. The limitation may be the fault of the vendor and not RefWorks.

When I try to export references from an online database with a RefWorks option, nothing happens. What do I do?

You have a couple of options. First, you can check to see if the popup window blocker is set on your browser or personal firewall or security software.

If you’ve added the Google toolbar to Internet Explorer, the popup blocker may be set. Select Options. Under Accessories select the Options tab, and turn off the Popup Blocker.

You can also save your references as text a text file (.txt) and import into RefWorks.

I imported some records from an online database and the information didn’t import correctly. Why?

There are several different reasons this could happen:

      • you selected the wrong import filter or database when importing
      • there is no import filter for the database you are importing from
      • the data vendor has updated the database and the import filter is not in sync with the changes
      • the data vendor sent data that was tagged for import incorrectly.

First, check that the data you are trying to import is in a tagged format. It should look something like this:

TI: Title
Effect of rearfoot orthotics on postural sway after lateral ankle sprain.

AU: Author
Hertel J; Denegar CR; Buckley WE; Sharkey NA; Stokes WL

AF: AuthorAffiliation
Department of Kinesiology, Pennsylvania State University,
University Park, PA16802, USA. jnh3@psu.edu

SO: Source
Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation., 2001 Jul,
82(7):1000-3

Then, from the References, Import area of RefWorks be sure both the Import Filter/Data Source and Database have been selected correctly. If you don't see either All Databases or the specific database you are searching in the drop-down list we do not have a filter for that particular database. In this case the data may still import but it may not be imported into the correct fields and the source information will all go into the notes field. Selecting Multiple Databases will not work if the specific database you are importing is not in the list.

If you selected the correct Data Source and Database but the data still comes in incorrectly, please contact the RefWorks support department at support@refworks.com. Attach a sample of the text file you are importing along with information on the source of the data.

Also, when you import from a text file, RefWorks always gives you the option to view the import log.  RefWorks imports references based upon Import Filters that have been created using data samples from various service providers and databases.  Because we cannot foresee every possible format, there will occasionally be data that is not imported or data that is imported into an incorrect reference type or field.

Any data that is not recognized will be reported in the Import Log.  You can view the log immediately after import by clicking on the View Log button before viewing imported references.  You may see any of the following messages:

Reference type identifier not found; Use default reference type

This indicates that the Reference Type (i.e. Journal, Report, Map etc.) was not defined for the database and RefWorks will import the data using the type which has been set as the default.  The default will be the type most common for that particular database.

Tag not defined; Not imported

The data in the field was not imported because the filter did not recognize the tag.

Source format not found; Import into Notes

The Source field generally contains several pieces of information such as Volume, Issue, Page Number(s), Year of Publication, Periodical name, etc.  The format of this field will vary a great deal and each format must be specifically defined to ensure RefWorks puts information into the correct fields.  If RefWorks does not recognize a particular source line format it will take all of the information as it is in the database and import it into the Notes field.  For this information to be used correctly for bibliography generation the data will need to be put in the appropriate fields manually.

Author pattern not found; Import as is

RefWorks attempts to import author names in a specified format so that the names will be used correctly in bibliography generation.  Common formats such as John Smith or Smith, John will be imported into RefWorks correctly.  If an author format is not recognized it will still be imported into the Author field but may not be in a format that will be correct when you generate a bibliography.  If possible check the author field for the reference and put it in the format required.  

Database identifier in header not found; Use database identifier in reference

Import Filters are based upon the service and the database.  When importing, RefWorks looks for a database identifier to direct it to the appropriate filter.  Some databases put the database name in a header file and others put it in the reference itself. The message indicates that the identifier for this reference was found in the reference itself not the header file.


Database identifier in reference not found; Use default database

If RefWorks cannot find a database identifier in the reference it is attempting to import it will use the Database you selected on the Import screen.

What is Write-N-Cite and what does it do?

Write-n-Cite is a feature which allows you to access your references in RefWorks while working within Microsoft Word. Write-n-Cite allows you to insert citation placeholders and when you are ready to add a bibliography to the end of the document, Write-n-Cite will create a bibliography and properly format your in-text citations based upon only those references that have been inserted into your Word document.

When using Write-n-Cite, log on by selecting the Login through your institution (Shibboleth users) and choosing University of Stirling from the drop down list. You might then be prompted to log in to the Portal, log in with your network username and password.

I’m a Mac user. Will Write-N-Cite work on my Mac?

Yes, there is a version of Write-N-Cite specifically for the Mac.  You need to be running Mac OS 10.X version 3 or higher and you also need Word for Mac 98 or higher.

Why doesn't Write-N-Cite work on my computer?

Write-N-Cite is only compatible with Windows PC users, using Microsoft Internet Explorer and running Microsoft Word 2000 or higher or Mac users using OS 10.X version 3 or higher and Word for Mac 98 or higher.  Users with other operating systems, browsers or word processing software should use the One Line/Cite View feature which works very similarly to Write-N-Cite.  See the online help in RefWorks or the RefWorks Tutorial for more information on Write-N-Cite or One Line/Cite View.

Can I have both Write-N-Cite and the full version of RefWorks open at the same time?

Yes. If you make edits in RefWorks be sure to refresh your Write-N-Cite version to reflect the edits.

I prefer to write my paper off line. Can I print out a list of references with RefIDs and how do I manually insert the citations in the text?

Yes. You first need to create a folder and add all of the references you require for the paper to this folder. Next, click on Export and select the folder you want to print. Select Citation List. Click Export to Text File. When the file displays print it using the browser's Print function.

Your printout or file will provide you with the RefIDs which you need to use in your document as citation placeholders. To manually insert citations in the text where you want to cite the reference, use two open curly brackets "{{" followed by the Reference ID number followed by two closed curly brackets "}}". For multiple citations in the same location separate the Ref ID number with semicolons: {{34;45;23}}. You will need to go back online to generate the bibliography or reference list by going to the Bibliography area and browsing to find your file.

My bibliography is not coming out correctly. Why?

Make sure the information in your each record is in the correct fields. RefWorks prints out what is stored, so if data is missing or not in the correct fields, your output may be incorrect. Always check to be sure the data in the database is correct before formatting a bibliography.

I received an error message when I tried to generate my bibliography. What can I do?

If you receive an error message when processing your paper, here are a few things to check:

1.  Make sure all citation placeholders (the things you inserted into your paper) have opening and closing double curly brackets {{ }}.  You can use the word processors "find" feature to easily check your placeholders.
2.  Make sure any multiple citation placholders are separated by a semi-colon.  For example:  {{39 Smith 2001; 57 Jones 2004}}
3.  If you are using in-text switches, make sure the switch appears directly after the citation placeholder BUT before the semi-colon separator.  For example:  {{39 Smith 2001/f p. 43; 57 Jones 2004}}
4.  Make sure the Reference ID numbers you are citing in your paper, are in your RefWorks database.  You may have inserted a citation placholder and then subsequently deleted the record from your account.  RefWorks will be unable to locate a reference and this will cause your bibliography to fail.
If you are still having problems generating your bibliography, contact RefWorks Technical Support at support@refworks.com.

Why does my bibliography have incorrect data included in the output document?

The output style takes the data from a particular field and inserts it into the bibliography. If the data in the field is incorrect it will appear to be wrong in the output format. For example, if you see a book title in your bibliography that looks like: Economics of America [Monograph], you will find that the title in your data includes the [Monograph] - it was not added by the output style.

If you see something like this for the volume number of a journal: Vol. 32 vol. It is because one Vol. was imported with the data. The problem may be with the way the data is imported rather than with the output style. Always check to be sure the data in the database is correct before formatting a bibliography.

I added some fields to an output style and they are not printing?

Make sure you added the fields to every defined reference type in your output style, including Generic. You will know if a reference type is defined, as it will say “[defined]” next to it in the drop-down in the output style editor.

I created my own output style and some of my references in my database do not print out. How do I fix this?

Every output style must have the Generic reference type defined, as well as any other reference types you need. The Generic type is used when you have records in your database that are of a reference type that your style isn’t defined for.

What if my output (journal) style is not available?

You can request that RefWorks create an output style for you or if you have an urgent need, you can create your own output style using the Output Style Editor. For more information on how to do this, see the RefWorks online help section called “Using the Output Style Editor”.

How do I give a colleague my custom output style?

You can share a custom output style by using the Backup/Restore feature of RefWorks.

To find this, go to the Tools section and select Backup/Restore.  Select the option to backup your output styles (do not backup your references) and perform the backup.  Give this file to your colleague and have them perform a restore from the Tools section, Backup/Restore area as well.  Your style will appear in red lettering in your colleague’s database as well.

How do I search my RefWorks database?

By selecting the Search option in the main menu you can search using the following: Advanced, By Author, By Descriptor, By Periodical, Online Catalogue or Database, RSS Feeds. In addition to the menu bar commands, the Quick Search box (with the option to search attachments) is readily available.

How many references can I store in RefWorks? Is there a limit?

You may save an unlimited number of references within your RefWorks account.

How many folders can I create in RefWorks? Is there a limit?

No. There is no limit to the number of folders you can create within your RefWorks account.

How do I tell which folders contain a specific reference?

Folders - if the reference is stored in a folder (or folders) you will see the folder name(s) listed in the Individual Reference Action Bar. You can click on a specific folder name to access all the references in that folder. This is an option that you select from the Customise area.

Quick Access Bar

A Quick Access bar is displayed on the right side of the screen providing one-click access to folders and subfolders, certain features and helpful resources as well as displaying statistics about your RefWorks account and important notifications and messages from RefWorks and your Organisation.
Want more viewing room on the screen? You can hide the Quick Access bar at any time by clicking on the Close tab.

Can I put a reference into more than one folder?

Yes. You can add a reference to as many folders as you want. RefWorks does not copy the reference, it just “marks” it with an placeholder (your folder name(s)) and allows you to view or edit it from any of those folders.

If I delete a reference from a folder, is it deleted from my database?

If you click the delete button from the all references view, yes, your reference is removed from your database and all folders (you will get a warning message telling you it will be removed completely). 

However, if you view a list of references in a folder view (i.e., View/Folders or Folders/View) you will see a Remove from Folder button.  Selecting references and then clicking on this button only removes the references from that particular folder.

When you remove a reference from a folder, it is still “marked” for any other folders you have already chosen.  If there are no marks left, it becomes “unfiled” and is available from the References Not In A Folder (in Folders/View or View/Folder) are in the or you can locate it by searching your RefWorks database.

You can also easily remove a reference from a folder (without removing it from your database), by deselecting the folder name in the In Folder drop-down box in the View or Edit mode.

What fields does the Search RefWorks box search?

The Search RefWorks box searches all fields, including Abstract and User Definable, and all search terms are connected by the Boolean connector OR. It also searches for embedded terms, i.e., if you search for "art" you will retrieve references with "heart", "part" etc. To narrow your search to specific fields and specific combinations of terms, use the Advanced Search feature. Searches are not case sensitive so you do not need to use capital letters.

How can I easily find duplicate records in my database and then remove them?

RefWorks offers two options for locating duplicates – exact match and close match. Both options can be found in the View/Duplicates area.

Close Matches -  checking is done by comparing a combination of Author Names, Title, and Year of Publication. It is a loose comparison so may result in a display of references that are not exact matches. This allows duplicates to be found even if there are minor errors in the data.  Also, depending on the size of your RefWorks database, the Close Matches may take some time, so be patient.

Exact Matches -  checks for exact matches based upon the Author Names, Title and Year of Publication fields.

To remove duplicates permanently from your database:

1. Mark the reference you wish to delete by clicking the box next to the Ref ID. These selections are not saved when you go to the next page. So be sure to add the references to a folder before moving to another page.

2. Click Delete.

3. The duplicates list refreshes and the matching records you did not delete, drops off this list (as it is no longer a duplicate).

I did a search of my University’s catalogue from the RefWorks Search/Online Catalog or Database area and it didn’t show up in my results (and I know it is there!). Why?

You will always get better search results by searching directly in the catalogue or data source. The searching protocol used in the Search/Online Catalogue or Database area will provide some basic searching, but not to the level of detail that searching directly does. We always recommend for complex searching strategies - search the source directly.

Is there a limit to the data I can put in the notes and abstract fields?

The notes, abstract and user definable fields are limited to 1 gigabyte of information. Keep in mind that if you add large amounts of data to these fields it will take the programme more time to display each reference and display search results.

How do I back up my references?

You can backup your citations on your computer by using the Backup/Restore feature. Select Tools, then Backup/Restore. You’ll then be presented with the option to Include References and/or Include Output Styles. Click on the Perform Backup button. Your folders are automatically included (except for empty folders). A copy of your database will be downloaded to your computer in a zipped file that can only be used in the Restore feature of RefWorks. When you restore your RefWorks database, it overwrites all information currently stored in your account. If you need to view or move your data, we recommend using the Export option in RefWorks.

I'm using Mozilla FireFox and having problems accessing. Is there a solution?

Yes. In FireFox, look for a blue exclamation point icon in the lower left-hand side of your screen; it's just to the right of the lock icon. Click the exclamation point icon and in the "Blocked Popups" window that appears, click "Unblock Site". Next, select your browser refresh button and you should see the RefWorks login screen. Unblocking the RefWorks pop-up should only need to be done once per FireFox install or user profile.


How do I import references from my EndNote database?

Below are two sets of conversion instructions – one for EndNote version 8 or higher users and the other is for version 7 or lower users.

Converting EndNote databases

(version 8 or higher):

  • Log into your RefWorks account.
  • Select References, Import EndNote V8 Database
  • Click the Browse button and locate your EndNote .enl file
  • Specify a folder to import the references to (optional – your references will automatically appear in the Last Imported Folder)
  • Click the Import button.

Converting EndNote databases (version 7 or lower):

• From EndNote, select the correct Output Style for the export. Under the File menu select Output Styles.
• From the list of output styles select RefMan (RIS) Export select it.

Note: If you do not see this format, open the Style Manager and check the RefMan format. Close the Style Manager and repeat steps 1 and 2.

• Select the references you want to export.
• Under the Reference menu select Show Selected (or Show All if you wish to export the entire database).
• Under the File menu select Export.
• A dialog box appears for you to select the location where you want to save the file. Type a file name and select a location for importing into RefWorks. Select Text as your Save As type and click Save.
• Go into RefWorks and from the References menu select Import.
• Select Desktop Biblio. Mgt. Software as your Import Filter and EndNote as your Database. Browse for and select the file you just created from EndNote.
• Click Import.

 Note:  When importing large amounts of references, it is recommended to import no more than 2500 records (or 3MB of files) at a single time.  This will ensure a successful import.

Can I move my RefWorks database into another database program?

RefWorks offers several export options that you can use with other programs.  These options (available in Tools/Export References) are:

• Bibliographic Software (EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager).  Saves the database in a tagged format that can import into another bibliographic management program. It is the format sometimes called the RIS Format or Reference Manager Format and can be imported into Reference Manager, ProCite, EndNote,  or any other program that supports the RIS Format

BibTeX – RefWorks ID.  Saves the database in the file format for use with the LaTeX document preparation system.

Citation List.   Creates a list to use when writing your paper offline. The format includes the RefID, Authors Primary, Title Primary, and Publication Year only.  This format is probably not usable by an other bibliography manager.

RefWorks Tagged Format. Saves the database in a format similar to the bibliographic management software format. This is a tagged format. The data layout, however, is patterned after the RefWorks database as opposed to tags that match with other bibliographic programs. Use this format for backup purposes and for sharing data with other RefWorks users.

Tab Delimited.  Saves all your data in an organized manner with each field separated by a tab. It may then be loaded into other programs that are designed to read this type of format.

XML. Use this format to create your export file in an XML format.

What happens when I graduate or if I leave my University?

University of Stirling Alumni can move their RefWorks references into a new alumni account. Ask at the Information Centre: library@stir.ac.uk

Or, you can convert your University account to an individual subscription.

RefWorks Technical Support can provide you with instructions on how to move your database. You can also export your reference data in several formats using one of RefWorks Export options.

My institution subscribes to RefWorks. What happens to my data if they decide to cancel next year?

You will be notified prior to the cancellation. At that time, you can purchase an individual subscription to RefWorks or, if you prefer, you can export your entire database in a format that is compatible with other bibliographic software. You can also export the data in a delimited format to use in some other type of database programme.