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

Read-Only Access

Lets colleagues see your RefWorks account in real time. They can't edit, delete, add, or change anything. They can export, print, and create bibliographies.

  1. Click User Profile in the top right of your RefWorks account.
  2. Type a password into the Read-only Password field.
  3. Click Save Profile.
  4. Send password and the Login Name (usually starts with JHU) to your colleague.
  5. They must use the Group Account login screen to login with this information.

You can also use the instructions to the right to share your entire account.

Group Accounts

A group account gives all members the ability to:

  • add, edit, and delete references
  • create and delete folders
  • edit output styles.

If you are working with a group and want everyone in the group to have full access to a RefWorks account, you need to request a group account. Send an email to and give us the following information:

  • your name
  • your school/department
  • the login name for the account
  • the password for the account.

We will create the account and reply to your email. Just share the login and password with your group members and you're ready to go. You will have to use the login screen with the red bars to login to your group account.


If you want to show someone what you have in a folder or your entire account, you can share with them. This will give them the ability to:

  • see your references
  • select some or all of those references
  • print out your references.

They cannot edit, delete, or add to your folder or account.


  1. Go to the Organize & Share Folders tab
  2. You will see a list of your folders. At the top of the list is the Share Entire Database option.
  3. To share the entire database or a folder, click on the folder icon furthest to the right. If you have already shared it, the folder icon will also have a person's head. If you haven't shared it, there will be a green arrow on the folder icon.
  4. Click on the appropriate folder icon. You'll be asked if you wish to share. Say Yes.
  5. A popup appears with several options for sharing. They are described below.

Shared Folder Options

  1. Share Information: Gives you a permanent URL for the folder. You can give this a new name and provide some more information for the people you're sharing with.
  2. Share Options: You can choose to let everyone at JHU see your folder in RefShare. You can also create an RSS feed for the folder, so that those you've shared with will know when you add new references. Leave the OpenURL option set to Site Defined OpenURL. This allows JHU FindIT links to display.
  3. Limitations: Lets you limit the number of references others can print, export, or put in a bibliography. You can also allow/disallow the ability to comment on references, show RSS feeds, enable email to you, and show or not show attachments. The default is to not show attachments.
  4. Output Style Options: Provides several options for what groups of output styles sharers can use.
  5. Fields to Share: The defaults is set to share all the fields available. You can alter this if there are, for example, notes fields you don't want others to see.

Remember to save your changes at the bottom of the popup. You can also return everything to the default setting.

An Already Shared Folder

If you have already shared a folder and click on the folder icon with a head, you'll have a few options.

  1. Share Link: Opens your shared folder. You can view it and copy the permanent URL.
  2. Remove Share: Stops any sharing you have allowed for that folder. No one with the link will be able to see the folder any longer.
  3. Shared Folder Options: Takes you back to the full set of options described above.
  4. Email this Share: An email with the link and some canned text is provided for you to send to colleagues you wish to share with. You can edit the text if you wish.