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Citation Management : RefWorks

A guide for all things citation management.

About RefWorks

The blue and white RefWorks Logo "ProQuest RefWorks"

Refworks is a web-based citation management tool that allows you to import references from online databases. You can use these references in writing papers and automatically format your bibliography. The instructions on the rest of this page apply for new RefWorks.

Note: 'Legacy' RefWorks is no longer available. Information about migrating 'Legacy' accounts is provided at the bottom of this page.

To use the 'New' RefWorks:

  1. Visit and create a new account with your OR email
  2. From your account, select Tools > Tools and install the following: 
    • Save references on the web (browser extension)
    • RefWorks Citation Manager for use with Microsoft Word 2016 and above
    • Write-N-Cite for use with Microsoft Word 2008 and 2011

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).

Add citations from the library catalog and databases

Quicksearch and many library databases allow you to export references directly into RefWorks. Look for the Export or Save next to any "cite" options.

For PubMed, follow these instructions.

Import citations

From a database (or from another citation manager), look for the option to export records in .ris format.

Add citations manually

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

Write a Paper

RefWorks offers several methods to insert and format citations, footnotes, and bibliographies while writing for both Microsoft Word and Google Docs.

Write-N-Cite with Google Docs

If you haven't already, install RefWorks for Google Docs

  • Open Google Docs and put your cursor where you want the citation to go.
  • Open the RefWorks sidebar.
  • Select the reference you want to add and select "Cite this."

This action will insert an in-text citation at the cursor's location and insert a bibliography at the end of the document.

Write-N-Cite with Microsoft Word

If you haven't already, install the RefWorks Citation Manager

  • 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 action will insert an in-text citation at the cursor's location and insert a bibliography at the end of the document.

Additional Support

ProQuest provides additional support for using features that come with RefWorks.

How to Migrate Legacy RefWorks Accounts

RefWorks logo

The information below is for users with a 'Legacy' RefWorks account. The 'Legacy' software is no longer being updated nor supported. Existing 'Legacy' RefWorks users need to migrate to the new RefWorks. Read about how to upgrade from Legacy RefWorks to RefWorks

Access Legacy Refworks (existing users only)

Before you migrate to the 'New' RefWorks: The new RefWorks has replaced the option to have multiple accounts with Projects. Follow the steps below to migrate multiple accounts into one account, and then create "Projects."

  1. Create your new RefWorks account.
  2. Export your references from each Legacy RefWorks account. Give each exported file a unique filename and save to your computer.
  3. Upload each file into your new RefWorks account. Click on Add, then Import References. Then select a file from your computer. Each file should go into a different Project.

Page Updates

This page was updated by Kelly Blanchat on September 27, 2022. Please reach out for corrections or additional information.