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Citation Management : RefWorks

A guide for all things citation management.

Download RefWorks

RefWorks logo

  • Access Refworks. Sign-up for a free account using your email address.
  • You can also download "Write-n-Cite Plug-In" for Word (Windows and Mac)

RefWorks Support

Need additional help?

Contact your librarian

Create a Bibliography

It's easy to generate a bibliography using RefWorks!

  • From the Bibliography drop-down menu, select Create
  • Select your citation style
  • Choose the file type for your bibliography (i.e.: HTML or RTF)
  • Select Create Bibliography

Get Started with RefWorks

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

Option 1: Enter manually
  • From within RefWorks, select References > Add New
    • Select your citation style (MLA, ALA, etc.)
    • Using the Reference type drop-down menu, select your material type
    • Enter the citation information
  • Select Save
Option 2: Connect to Orbis, with two methods:

A. Import a reference from Orbis

  • From within an Orbis book record, select Export > Refworks Citation
    • An HTML window will appear, copy all of the text (CTRL+A, CTRL+C)
  • Sign-in to RefWorks
    • Select References > Import
    • Select the option From Text and enter the following fields:
      • Import Filter/Data Source = "Yale University"
      • Database = "Yale Library Orbis"
      • Paste the copied citation into the text field
      • Select Import

B. Search Orbis within RefWorks

  • From within RefWorks, select the Search drop-down menu
    • Select Online Catalog or Database
    • Select Yale in the Search box
    • Enter your search terms in either Quick search or Advanced Search
      • Note: if you're looking for a specific title from Advanced Search, do NOT use quotation marks
  • Select Search at the bottom of the window
    • Your Orbis search results will appear
    • Use the check boxes to select citations to save in RefWorks
Option 3: Direct Export from a database (i.e.: EBSCO, JSTOR)
  • Conduct a search in a database, and select references to export
    • Navigate to an option for Cite or Export Citations
      • Note: precise terminology will vary depending on the database
    • Choose the option to export to RefWorks
  • RefWorks will launch
    • Note: You will see a screen that asks you to select a version of RefWorks - select the option for Legacy RefWorks (usually orange)
    • Log-in and import the reference


Download "Write-n-Cite Plug-In" for Word (Windows and Mac)

Get started with Write-N-Cite and view the formatting of your in-text citations, footnotes and bibliography – all while you are writing your paper.

Step 1. Launch and Sync Write-N-Cite

Note: The first time you launch Write-N-Cite, you must be connected to the internet in order to log-in to your RefWorks library and sync it with Write-N-Cite. To log-in:

Screen shot of Write-N-Cite Microsoft Word plugin





  • Click RefWorks from the Microsoft Word ribbon
  • Select Log-in and enter your RefWork username and password
    • The first time you log in to Write-N-Cite, it will automatically “sync” with your RefWorks library, which may take a few seconds as it is downloading your references and collections. Any time you make changes to your RefWorks items you can click Sync my Database your new and edited items will be added to Write-N-Cite. Write-N-Cite functions will not be available until after syncing has finished.
  • To select your citation format style, click the Style drop down and pick a citation format
    • Note: change your output style and the formatting of your paper at any time by clicking on another Style in the list and selecting a new output style. Access to other Styles can be gained by using Select Other Style at the bottom of the list.
Step 2: Write a paper and insert citations, footnotes and a bibliography

You may want to sync your RefWorks library with Write-N-Cite if you have recently added items you want to use in your paper. Click the Sync my database icon to download new or updated items.

To insert a citation:

  • Click the Insert Citation and Insert New option to launch the insert/edit citation box
    • If you have previously used Write-N-Cite, you may see some recently selected citations listed above the Insert New option. You can select citations displayed from this list or access all your references from the Insert New option.
  • Once the Insert/Edit Citation box displays, you can access your items by collection or by searching
  • Click on the item you wish to insert into your paper.
    • You will see a preview of the formatted citation in your current output style
  • Click OK to insert your formatted citation into your paper

To insert a footnote:

  • To insert a footnote instead of an in-text citation, click the Make Footnote checkbox in the Edit References area.  
    • Once you make a footnote and finish editing the citation, you will not be able to undo this action. However, you can always add a new in-text citation.

To insert a bibliograhy:

  • You can insert your bibliography anywhere in your paper while you are writing.  Click Bibliography Options, Insert Bibliography.
    • ‚ÄčNote: the bibliography will be inserted wherever the cursor is in your paper. You can click Remove Bibliography and re-insert if it you need to change the location.
Step 3: Save your formatted paper (you should really save it periodically while you are writing).

RefWorks after Graduation

RefWorks is available to after Graduation!  WooHoo!

1. Make sure that you sane your email from RefWorks after signing up.  It includes the Yale University Group Code.

2. To login use the ID and password created while at Yale University.

3. You will be asked to include the Yale University Group Code - go to the email that was sent when you set up the account.