RefWorks is a web-based bibliographic manager that includes a word processing plug-in for Microsoft Word and Google Docs. RefWorks is popular with researchers that use academic databases to find information and want a bibliographic manager that they can access from any computer.
Notable features of RefWorks include:
The information provided below is useful for researchers who want to become familiar with RefWorks' basic functions. For a more complete guide to RefWorks features, I recommend ProQuest's RefWorks guide.
Create Your Account
To create a RefWorks account, click this link: https://refworks.proquest.com/signup/email/
You will be asked for an institutional email. Please use your bu.edu email address only, as only this will authenticate you as a licensed RefWorks user.
For Users of Legacy RefWorks
If you've been using the previous version of RefWorks, you can continue to use it.
If you'd like to migrate your RefWorks database to the newest version of RefWorks, you can do that, too.
Once your account is created, you can start sending references to your RefWorks database. There are several ways to do this:
To create bibliographies with RefWorks, open the folder with the citations you want to use, then click the " button in your RefWorks toolbar.
RefWorks will create a bibliography in your chosen citation style that you can copy and paste into a document.
Note: Look over your bibliography before submitting it to an instructor or publisher. If you imported references that were poorly indexed--and this can happen even with references from well-respected academic databases--there is a chance that you will have incorrect formatting on some of your bibliography items.
If you want to cite sources within the text of your document, you can do it in one of two ways:
When using RefWorks' citation tool while citing in Chicago Style (Notes & Bibliography) or another style that requires footnote citations, it's necessary to insert a footnote, then insert your citation in the footnote rather than the text of the document. See the examples below to find out how the citation differs depending on its location.
Fig. 1 (below): Chicago style citation inserted at the end of a sentence.
Fig. 2 (below): Chicago style citation inserted in a footnote.
You can share your RefWorks folders with other RefWorks users, allowing them to see the references and if you choose, annotate and/or edit those references. You can create a public URL for your folder, allowing non-RefWorks users to see the contents.
To do this, click the small box next to the name of the folder you want to share (see image below), and choose the Share Folder option. You will then be able to choose to create a public URL for the folder or to invite specific people with varying degrees of access (read-only, read and annotate, or read/annotate/edit). Please note that if you invite others, they will need to create RefWorks accounts if they are not current RefWorks users.
Q. I've tried installing the Write-n-Cite/RefWorks Citation Manager plug-in and it won't work. What do I do?
A. You may be trying to install the wrong tool. If you are using Microsoft Word 2016 or a more current version of Word, you will need to install RefWorks Citation Manager, not Write-n-Cite. Make sure that all instances of Microsoft Word are closed. On a Mac, this means force-quitting the Word app (right-click on the Word icon, then choose Quit). Try the installation again. If it does not work, please contact Boston University's Information Services & Technology Department for technical assistance. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 617-353-4357. You can also visit them in person on the first floor of Mugar Memorial LIbrary.
Q. What's the difference between Legacy RefWorks and the new RefWorks?
A. Mainly, the difference exists in the interface. The new RefWorks is more intuitive, and the buttons on the interface are easier to see. If you are just starting with RefWorks, choose the new version. Legacy RefWorks is only available to accommodate long-time users that did not want to deal with exporting all their citations into the new RefWorks. The only benefit to using Legacy RefWorks over the new version is that it allows import of citations from .txt files in a tagged format.
Q. I'm trying to import a citation of a speech (or some other reference type that RefWorks doesn't recognize). How do I do this?
A. If the source exists in a different format (e.g. a transcript of a speech), you can choose that reference type instead. You can also choose the Generic reference type and add as much bibliographic information as you can for that reference; you may need to edit the reference after citing it in your document with the RefWorks plug-in. Please contact a librarian if you need help doing this.