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

RefWorks Help


Leaving Hopkins?

Below are the options available to you as you leave JHU.

I don't really need the information.

  • Do nothing. The information and your ability to access it will disappear when your JHED account is terminated.

I want to keep just the information.

  • You can export it. In your account go to References - Export and choose the method that will be most useful to you.

I want to keep my RefWorks account and the information in it.

  • RefWorks allows alumni of institutional members to keep their accounts for their lifetimes, or until the institution stops its RefWorks subscription. The document below describes the steps you need to follow if you use Legacy RefWorks.

Import Failed

If you see "Import Failed" when moving references from a database to RefWorks, just do the import again. It's a known bug in the system.

To avoid this, login to RefWorks first. Then search the database in a second tab. That usually stops the "Import Failed" glitch.

Classes at Other Hopkins Libraries

Some known Issues with Refworks

  • Exporting records in languages other than English from the JHU online catalog.
    • The accents will not display correctly in Refworks, or your bibliography. Usually RW creates 2 characters instead of 1.
    • Example: e' instead of é. Or a` instead of à.
    • To work around this, you will have to edit the records in Refworks, or your bibliography, using these codes.
    • You must check the capitalization of foreign titles once you've created a bibliography with RefWorks. Often all the words are capitalized.

No Portal Link

Sometimes the image with the portal link and red bars doesn't display. This usually happens with newer versions of Chrome or Firefox. Internet Explorer often asks if you want to "Show all content". Say 'yes' and the image will display. 

You can login with your JHED credentials on the bottom left, with the Shibboleth link. You don't have to use the portal link.

View Secure Information?

If you're off-campus and trying to login to either RefWorks or Write-N-Cite, you may be asked a security question. The question is:

Do you want to view only the webpage content that was delivered securely?

You must answer No in order to display the entire login page.

Error, the group code...

If you see "Error, the Group code passed in null was invalid" you need to clear your cookies and cache. If that doesn't clear up the problem, please email

Error in USAdd User

If you see the Error in USAdd User the first time you try to login to RefWorks there are two things to try.

  1. Switch to a different browser. IE seems to work best for the first login.
  2. Go into a JHU library and use a library computer to sign on the first time.