RefWorks Guide

RefWorks Migration


If you are just setting up a citation manager, we suggest that you use Zotero instead, since RefWorks will be unavailable after August, 2017. Please see our Zotero Support for creating an account and getting started. For information on exporting existing RefWorks lists to Zotero, see below.

Cancellation August 2017

Please be advised that the UNB Libraries' subscription to RefWorks will expire August 2017 and will not be renewed.

For information on available alternatives and content migration, please see below.

RefWorks FAQs

Why is RefWorks being cancelled?

RefWorks, as a tool, is not unique; there are many different citation management tools available now, and many of them are free to use. As the functionality of free (and even open source) tools has improved over the last few years, it has become harder and harder to justify the continuing expense of subscribing to RefWorks. Ultimately, we have decided to spend our collections dollars on the unique, academic content that is so valuable to our users, and to encourage current RefWorks users to capitalize on freely available alternatives like Zotero and Mendeley.

How much does RefWorks cost the library?

RefWorks is an annual subscription purchase by the library at a cost of just over $30,000 CAD for our most recent year.

Do you plan to replace RefWorks with something else?

UNB Libraries will not be providing a new tool to replace RefWorks, but we encourage our users to explore alternative options that are freely available online, such as Zotero, Mendeley and EndNote Web. A comparison of these three software platforms can be found here:

If I switch to a new platform, will I still be able to receive software support from UNB Libraries?

Several staff at UNB Libraries will be providing software support for Zotero on an ongoing basis. These staff are the same people who have been helping Library users with RefWorks over the past few years:

Additionally, we will be providing support to users during a transition from RefWorks over to Mendeley; our support of Mendeley will not extend beyond the exporting of references from RefWorks to the Mendeley platform.

Is it easy to migrate from RefWorks to a new platform (like Zotero or Mendeley)?

Yes. It is easy to export references from RefWorks into both Zotero and Mendeley; depending on the size and complexity of your RefWorks account, however, the process can be time consuming to perform well. Please view our Zotero and Mendeley videos to learn how to migrate your content. Take care to preserve your existing file structure and attachments when exporting to any citation management software.

Can I buy my own license to RefWorks?

While the RefWorks site does suggest that you will be able to subscribe to RefWorks on your own at an annual cost of $100 USD, that is not actually the case. For the past year and a half, RefWorks has been moving from the platform we have used at UNB (RefWorks 2.0) to a new platform (RefWorks 3.0). RefWorks 3.0 will be completely replacing the older version in September 2017; unfortunately, RefWorks has no current plans to support individual subscriptions on the new platform.


Importing References

Getting References into RefWorks

With RefWorks, you can export or import citations directly from most of the indexing/abstracting databases and many electronic journal collections offered through UNB Libraries. Select from this list for specific instructions on importing and exporting from UNB Libraries' databases and journal collections.

See also the ProQuest RefWorks Guide for more importing instructions.

You can also add references manually. You may need to do this for material that is older or unpublished. Follow these instructions for adding references manually.

RefWorks is not designed to import bibliographic information about web pages. You can add web page citations manually or, if you use a lot of such sources, you may want to download an optional feature called RefGrab-It. These video instructions describe how to install and use RefGrab-It.

Note to Google Scholar users: You can configure Google Scholar to export search results to RefWorks. Use the Google Scholar link from the UNB Libraries eResources page ( Once in Scholar, click on Settings at the top right of the screen. Under Bibliography Manager, highlight the option "Show links to import citations into RefWorks", and click Save.

For instructions and tutorials on how to get references into RefWorks, see the Getting Information into RefWorks tab in the Introduction to RefWorks Guide by ProQuest.

Importing and Exporting References from other RefWorks accounts

You can export references from any RefWorks account and import them into other RefWorks accounts.

To export references:

  1. Log-in to your RefWorks account.
  2. Select random references to export and add them to My List (alternatively, if your references are already in a folder or you want to export your entire database, you can skip this step).
  3. Select, References, Export.
  4. Choose All References, My List or a specific Folder to export.
  5. Select RefWorks Tagged Format and click Export.
  6. You will be prompted to save a . txt file to your computer.

To import references in RefWorks Tagged Format:

  1. Log-in to your RefWorks account.
  2. Select References, Import.
  3. Select RefWorks Tagged Format as the data source.
  4. Click the Browse button and locate the . txt file you wish to import.
  5. Click Import.
  6. The references will appear in the Last Imported Folder.

Note: Reference ID numbers are not transferred when exporting or importing. Any references imported from one RefWorks account to another, will be assigned new Ref IDs according to the numbering in your account.

Organizing References

Organizing References

Folders allow you to organize your references within RefWorks. Placing a reference in a folder is like assigning it a "tag." Items can be in more than one folder at a time. You can also create subfolders.

For detailed instructions on how to work with folders, edit references, and much more, see the Organizing and Managing your References tab in the Introduction to RefWorks Guide by ProQuest.

Also, check out the UNB Libraries' Video Quick Tips, in the Tragetted Help section, for additional help with RefWorks, in particular, folders.




Write-N-Cite (WNC) is a feature that gives you access to the contents of your RefWorks account during the writing process. Using Write-N-Cite, you can easily insert formatted references into your Microsoft Word documents as you write, and generate the appropriate bibliography in almost any citation style. The current version, Write-N-Cite 4, is available for download for Mac and Windows.

To get WNC4, log into your RefWorks account and choose Tools from the menu bar at the top of the screen.

WNC 4 has a very different look and feel from WNC 2.5. Downloading WNC4 installs a toolbar in Word, allowing you to quickly cite, change styles or generate a bibliography without having to navigate to another window. Citations are fully formatted as soon as you cite them.

After installing the toolbar, you will log into WNC using a unique code provided to you at the RefWorks WNC download page. Once logged in, the contents of your RefWorks account will be accessible via the toolbar unless you log out of WNC, whether or not you are connected to the internet. Unless you need to access more than one RefWorks account, you need only log in through the WNC toolbar once.

The ProQuest Introduction to RefWorks Guide provides screen shots and video instructions for downloading, logging in, and using WNC4. This short video from UNB Libraries also provides instructions for downloading, logging in, and using WNC4.

If you are unable, or prefer not to use WNC, you can still get the same results by using RefWorks. Watch this screencast video for instructions on the workaround. Or follow these video instructions from ProQuest on how to add citations using One Line Cite View and then format your document in Refworks.

The group code for UNB can be found here. 



RefShare allows you to let others see your whole RefWorks account, or individual folders in it, by creating a URL that can be emailed or placed on a web page. By default each listed reference includes the "Check for Full text" link to UNB Libraries' electronic journal holdings. Thus instructors can use RefShare to provide their students with direct links to electronic journal articles and other online library resources within Desire2Learn or Moodle.

Anyone who clicks on the RefShare URL in an email message or on a web page will be able to see your references, even if they are not affiliated with UNB or STU, or if they don't have a RefWorks account. (However, any files, such as article pdfs, that have been attached to references within RefWorks will not be visible to those without an account.)

ProQuest provides comprehensive instructions for sharing your RefWorks content including videos on using RefShare. Also, check out the UNB Libraries' Video Quick Tips, in the Tragetted Help section, for additional help with RefWorks, in particular, RefShare.

More Information

  • Aggie Sliwka (Profile)
  • Library Assistant, Reference & Copyright Services
  • UNB Fredericton
  • 506-453-5017

  • Merle Steeves (Profile)
  • Dept. Head, Librarian
  • UNB Fredericton
  • 506-453-5043