The Basic Bare-Bones Beginner's Guide to RefWorks

IntroductionLogging InNavigating RefWorksAdding ReferencesSearching Organizing ReferencesCreating the BibliographyAdditional Help

Why Is Research Difficult? (3 reasons)
  1. There is usually SO much information from SO many sources that by the end of your research you have lost track.

  2. Writing bibliographies and citing sources is usually the least fun and least exciting part of any project.

  3. Citation guides for style formatting tips can be confusing and different instructors can prefer different styles (APA, MLA, etc...).

Why Use RefWorks? (3 really good reasons)
  1. RefWorks will organize all your of reference information so that it is in one easy-to-find place.

  2. RefWorks can automatically create your bibliography and cite in-text references with a mouse click.

  3. RefWorks can cite your references in one of hundreds of styles.

Sound Good? Keep Reading.

In essence what RefWorks does is this: it collects data on all the books, journals, articles, videos, etc. that you are using as references, puts them in one place, lets you organize them, and then creates a ready-made bibliography from the information. You can also use a program that is called Write-n-Cite to insert citation information directly into the paper as you write it.

Logging In

To access RefWorks you can go through the library's indexes and databases page and look up the database alphabetically. If you are off-campus you will need to log on to Off Campus Connect (EZproxy).

In order to access RefWorks, you will need to create a user name and password. It is a free and easy process that only takes a minute. To do so, click on the Sign up for an Individual Account link.

TIP: Use an easy to remember Username and Password, and use your FAU e-mail address.

After creating your account, you will receive a welcome e-mail with your account information and group code (you will need the group code if you want to use the mobile version of RefWorks). Save this e-mail in case you need to change your account information down the road.

Ready Now? Let's Go.

Once you have logged in and you are on the main page, you will notice a toolbar that runs near the top of the page. Here is an explanation of the toolbar.

1. References - This area will allow you to import, export, and manually input data. It will also allow you to organize your folders and backup your data to a local database (such as a hard drive, disc or thumb drive).

2. View - Allows you to look at the information that you have already brought in. There is a function that will allow you locate any duplicate records, as well.

3. Search - This is where you go if you want to look up records within your RefWorks account by author, descriptor or periodical, or if you would like to do an advanced search. This is also the place where you can search a specific database (like the FAU Library Catalog) to import records from.

4. Bibliography - Takes you to a separate page where you can preview formatting styles and create a bibliography with the information that you have collected.

5. Tools - This area is where you can access Write-n-Cite, preview output styles, change the viewable language of RefWorks, or personalize the site.

6. Help - Gives you access to the RefWorks tutorial (which is highly recommended), a quick start guide and contact information for the people at RefWorks if you are having technical trouble or any other questions.

7. Folders - Once you have downloaded the records from which you want to create a bibliography, you will need to organize them. This is the place where you can create folders to place all the files for easier access.

8. Search - This is where you go if you want to look up records within your RefWorks account.

There are three ways to add references to RefWorks:

1. Directly import the references from an online database.
2. Import the information from a text file.
3. Manually input the data. (You can also import from a online search but we will get to that in the next section.)

Directly Import References

This is the easiest and fastest way, so if you can, do it this way. Some of the FAU databases that you can currently directly import data from include ProQuest, EBSCOHost and OCLC, as well as the FAU Library Catalog.

Downloading records from a database is easy. Keep the RefWorks database open in one window. In a separate window, perform a search the way that you normally do in a database (in this example, we'll use Academic Search Premier).  Here is the search result we want. We will then click on the Export button.

Once you click EXPORT, a new page will appear. Select the RefWorks option and click SAVE.

After you have clicked SAVE, look at the RefWorks database. You will notice that a database record has been imported into your RefWorks account.

If we click the LAST IMPORTED FOLDER button, we can see the whole record.

If we were to click on the drop-down arrow under CHANGE VIEW, we would also have the ability to see the records by Standard View, One Line/Cite View or Full Record. Now we know the record is stored correctly in the database.

TIP: Remember that each database looks different (EBSCOhost, Proquest, etc.) You may have to search for the export features within a database. If you are not sure, ASK A LIBRARIAN!

 Now we will look at how to import records from a file.

Importing the Data from a Text File

This is a little bit trickier, but still not that difficult. Just like last time, first you need to find the article that you wish to use. Let's use a citation we like from PubMed.

First, we will select the record we want to import.  Next, we will use the drop down menu (SEND TO:) to change the format to MEDLINE and also choose the destination as FILE.

TIP: Remember that the ways to save a record as text file will vary depending on the database. You may have to do some sleuthing to figure out the various ways for different databases.

Once we do that, a new page will automatically come up with the citation displayed in MEDLINE format. As shown below, we want to save this data as a TEXT file.

Once the file is saved (remember where you saved it to!), you can go back to RefWorks to import it. On the toolbar under REFERENCES you want to select IMPORT. Once there it will take you into another page.

You will then need to specify the IMPORT FILTER DATA SOURCE, and select PubMed for DATABASE. Next, select the text file you initially saved from PubMed. If needed, select a folder to save the record. Then, select IMPORT.

This window will show that the references imported successfully.

TIP: If you need additional help or if the record does not import correctly, go to HELP on the toolbar.

Entering the Data Manually

This is going to be the easiest but most labor intensive way to get the information on the database. You should not have to do this too often.

First select ADD NEW from REFERENCES on the toolbar. This should take you on another page.

You must then type in all the information that you have in the given data fields. You can also copy the information from a database record and paste it in its appropriate field such as author, title or periodical.

Once you clicked SAVE REFERENCE, the information should be available in the RefWorks database.

FAU Libraries Web Site Design Team
Created 24 March 2006
This page is maintained by: FAU Libraries Web Manager
Last updated 16 September 201
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