Tips and tricks for using RefWorks to manage citations, create bibliographies, and share citations.

Google Scholar and RefWorks

If you use Google Scholar for your literature research, you can set it up so citations can be moved from Google Scholar to your RefWorks account. Steps are listed below.

  1. Go to Google Scholar.
  2. Click on Settings Gear in upper right corner.
  3. Use pull down under Bibliography Manager to choose RefWorks.
  4. Click Save.

RefWorks Help

Questions?  E-mail your librarian or the RefWorks support group ( for assistance.

References from a Database

When you use a library database like Academic Search Complete or Scopus, you can move references from the database into your RefWorks account. To see the exact instructions for any particular database, go to Help - Launch Help File while you are in your RefWorks account. In the search box you can type the name of the database you're using, or search for 'importing from online data vendors' to see the complete list. The instructions are very detailed and kept up-to-date.

This is the process you will generally follow to export references from a database.

  1. Search the database, then mark and save the references you are interested in.
  2. Go to the print/export function. If there is an option to Export to RefWorks or Export to Bibliographic Manager, use it.
  3. If a direct export to RefWorks isn't available, save your references in tagged field format in a text file. Then go into your RefWorks account and click on References - Import to import the references in that file.

Always check the instructions provided in the Help, they are very detailed. If you have problems, then Ask a Librarian or email

RefWorks is undergoing some changes. If you are trying to export citations to RefWorks and see the message below, be sure to click on the "Export to legacy RefWorks" on the left. Access to the citations in your library is only available through legacy RefWorks. The ProQuest RefWorks is still under development and is not currently supported by the JHU Libraries.

If you have any questions, please contact your librarian, or email


References from a web page

To pull bibliographic information off a web page, like an online catalog or, use RefGrab-It.

Look under Tools - RefGrab-It for download instructions. You can install it as a bookmarklet or a plug-in.

Need help? Ask a Librarian!

Attaching Documents

You can attach documents to the references in your RefWorks account. These attachments can be any file type: Word, PDF, image, LaTeX, audio files, anything. The documents are stored on RefWorks servers, so they're available to you from any Internet-connected computer.

  • An individual file can not be larger than 20MB.
  • Your account can not store more than 5GB of attachments.
  • You can have as many attachments per reference as you want.

For more details on how to attach documents, watch this RefWorks video.

Entering references manually

You can manually type references (citations) into RefWorks, but before you start, remember you may be able to search for your references in a database and then import into RefWorks. Need help?
Ask a Librarian!

If you do need to enter references manually, go to
References - Add New Reference

RefWorks can only import references from databases (see box at right), not from a Word document.