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Citation Management : RefWorks

A guide for all things citation management.

What is RefWorks?

Q: How is RefWorks different from Legacy RefWorks?

A: RefWorks and Legacy RefWorks are web-based citation managers that are free for Yale affiliates. The biggest difference between the two is that RefWorks looks more modern and integrates with Google Docs. For both options, you must be online to use them.

If you'd like a citation manager that does not require connection to the Internet, try Zotero.

Access New RefWorks

Create a Bibliography

It's easy to generate a bibliography using RefWorks!

First, add citations to your New RefWorks library, where you can group citations into folders to organize your research based on topic, project, or paper. When you're ready to generate a bibliography, select Create Bibliography from the top toolbar.

See below for step-by-step details on how to enter citations and set-up Write-N-Cite for Google Docs and Word.

How to Add References

Use RefWorks to save, organize, and keep track of references found online, in Orbis (the Yale Library catalog), and in library databases (such as Articles+, JSTOR, ProQuest).

How to add references from the Internet

Install the Save to RefWorks browser plugin first.

  • Make sure your browser's favorites toolbar is showing.
  • In Refworks, select Tools > Tools.
  • Select Install Save to RefWorks.
  • A dialog box appears. Drag it to your browser's favorites toolbar.
  • Click anywhere on the page to close the dialog box.

After the browser plugin is installed, make sure you're logged in. Go to a webpage that contains a citation or information about a citation. On your browser's favorites toolbar, select save to RefWorks. You can select the citation(s) you want, edit them if necessary, and add them to your RefWorks collection.

How to add references from a database or other citation manager

This method is great for batches of records.

  • From your favorite database or from another citation manager, export records in RIS format.
How to add references by searching a database within RefWorks

This feature is good for adding known references to your RefWorks collection. For broad searches about a topic, you may want to use the search and filter features of your favorite database. Some external databases, like JSTOR, even have a built-in export-to-RefWorks feature.

  • In the left sidebar, select Search databases and run a search.
  • Select the results you want to add, and select Import.
How to add citations manually

This is a last resort! It's better to import references than to create them.

If you have to add references manually:

  • Select Add > Create new reference.
  • Start entering information about the citation.
  • New RefWorks will try to identify the document you are describing.
  • When all the information is there, click Save

Set up an account in New RefWorks

  1. Start at RefWorks
  2. Create a new account with your email
  3. Install these 3 useful tools:
    • Save to RefWorks browser bookmark for every browser you use
    • RefWorks Citation Manager for Word
    • Write-N-Cite for Google Docs

How to Add Citations into a Google or Word Document

Add citations to a Google Doc

How to install the RefWorks Add-on
  • Open a Google Doc.
  • Select Add-ons > Get Add-ons.
  • Search for Refworks.
  • Select Free and Allow to add RefWorks for Google Docs
How to open the RefWorks sidebar in Google Docs
  • Open a Google Doc.
  • Select Add-ons > ProQuest RefWorks > Manage citations.
  • Enter your RefWorks credentials.
  • The RefWorks sidebar will appear. 
How to insert a reference in Google Docs
  • Put the cursor where you want the citation to go.
  • Open the RefWorks sidebar.
  • Select a reference and select cite this.
  • This will insert an in-text citation at the cursor's location and insert a bibliography at the end of the document.

Add citations to a Word document

How to install the RefWorks Citation Manager (the new version of Write N Cite)
  • In Microsoft Word, select Insert > Store and search for Refworks.
  • Select Add in the row for RefWorks Citation Manager.
  • It will open in the right sidebar.
  • If you close the sidebar, you can get it back by selecting Insert > My Add-ins > RefWorks Citation Manager.
How to insert a reference in Microsoft Word
  • Put the cursor where you want the citation to go. 
  • Open the RefWorks Citation Manager and log in with your RefWorks credentials. 
  • Select the reference and select Quick Cite.
  • This will insert an in-text citation at the cursor's location and insert a bibliography at the end of the document.


Get help with New RefWorks

When you are in New RefWorks, use the help icon to access the Knowledge Center, watch video tutorials, or contact support.

Switching from Legacy RefWorks to New RefWorks

Have you been using Legacy RefWorks? Check out the information here as you prepare to upgrade.

Note: Documents created in Legacy RefWorks with Write-N-Cite are not compatible with New RefWorks. You can upgrade documents created in Legacy RefWorks to be compatible with New RefWorks. Always save a copy first!