What is RefWorks?
  • web-based bibliographic citation manager
  • create your own personal database by importing citations directly from subscription databases or by adding them manually
  • automatically format your paper (in-text citations and bibliography)

RefWorks assumes you understand these two concepts:
  • The language of bibliographic organization (periodical, reference type, descriptors, title, author, volume, etc.)
  • The way information is organized on your computer and online (drives, folders, subfolders, files, records, fields, importing & exporting files)

Step 1: Create a personal RefWorks account (RefWorks tutorial - 1:09 min.)
  • Access RefWorks from this page or from the Ursuline Library website
  • Your personal RefWorks account allows you to create your own database of resources for your research

Step 2: Build your RefWorks database - Three ways to save references to RefWorks (Ursuline Library handout)
  • Export to RefWorks directly from databases like CINAHL, Medline, etc. (RefWorks tutorial - 2:10 min.)
    • Select articles as you are researching your topic and look for the option to Export or Export to RefWorks
  • Import citations from .txt files
    • Step A: Export citation data to a .txt file and save it to your computer (note the name of the file or rename it with a name you will recognize/remember)
    • Step B: Go to your RefWorks account to import the file you saved into your references list
    • Databases that work this way with RefWorks:
  • Add citations manually (RefWorks tutorial - 3:14 min.)

Step 3: Edit your citations in RefWorks - click the Edit icon attached to a reference on your reference list
  • Check for errors & verify correct formatting:
  • Add personal notes
  • Attach full text
    • Step A: Save the article in full text to your computer (usually a .pdf file)
    • Step B: Attach the file you saved to a citation in RefWorks using the Edit window

Step 4: Organize your references using folders (RefWorks tutorial - 2:23 min.)
  • Use the New Folder button to make a folder with a name you assign
  • Move citations into a folder from your References list
    • Step A: Check boxes next to the references you want to add to the folder
    • Step B: Click the folder icon on the toolbar at the top of the references list to select the folder

Step 5: Create a bibliography
  • Create a stand-alone bibliography
    • Step A: Click the Create Bibliography button
    • Step B: Select the File Type (recommend Word for Mac or Windows)
    • Step C: Select the folder you want from the pull-down menu References to Include
    • Step D: your bibliography will open in a Word document (if you chose that File Type) - if it looks funny, try changing the View (in Word) to Print Layout
    • Step E: check it over and fix it up (delete, insert text, adjust fonts, spacing, etc.) just as you would a document you typed yourself
    • Step F: save as a file or copy & paste into another document
  • Use citation manager to format your in-text citations AND bibliography (RefWorks tutorial - 3:11 min.)
    • Step A: Download Citation Manager to your computer from the Tools menu in RefWorks (RefWorks tutorial - 1:52)
    • Step B: Insert citations into your paper using Citation Manager from the References tab in Word
    • Step C: Edit/make corrections as needed

Need more help?

  • Call or visit Ursuline Library for personal assistance from a professional librarian! The Reference Desk is open during most library hours.
    • All of the Ursuline librarians are qualified, experienced, and available to help you.
  • There are lots of ways to contact us - in person, by phone, via chat or email, or you can schedule a research appointment with a librarian!