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Partner Students RefWorks: Adding references

Adding references

There are a number of ways that you can import references into RefWorks. See the guides opposite for information on how to import using these different techniques. 

Importing references from Legacy RefWorks

1. Click on the symbol in the menu at the top of the screen and click on Import references

2. Click on Legacy RefWorks

3. Click Authorize and log in to your Legacy RefWorks account. Your references will transfer once you have done this.

Different ways of adding references

A range of online resources such as Library Search, the library catalogue and databases have the option to export directly into RefWorks. A few databases allow indirect import to RefWorks. 

The guides below show you how to export references from:

  • Library Search
  • Library catalogue
  • Library databases
  • Westlaw and PubMed (Indirect import)

Alternatively watch the video to see the essentials of exporting references from a variety of different databases.

The Save to RefWorks button is another way to add references to your account. You install a button on your web browser (Chrome, Safari, IE etc.) and then click on the button when you find something you want to add to RefWorks, whether that is a journal article, a book, or a website. To install in follow these instructions:

  •  Click on the More icon on the menu at the top of the screen in RefWorks

The more button you need to click to add Save to RefWorks

  • Click on Tools 
  • Click on Install Save to RefWorks. Follow the instructions on how to add the button to your browser.
  • When you find something you want to reference click on the Save to RefWorks button. A menu will open on your screen with the information about the item that you can check for accuracy before saving to your RefWorks account. 

Save to refworks screen


A screenshot showing the menu that appears when you click on the plus buttonThere may be occasions when the resource you are using is not online or is not available to import directly. Instead you can add the reference manually into RefWorks.

  • In RefWorks select then Create new reference
  • Select the type of resource you are using and add the details to create a full reference

A video is available to to show you how to add references manually. 



You can add references by dragging and dropping PDFs into RefWorks or uploading a file to RefWorks. The reference will be created and the PDF attached to it.

  • With RefWorks open, select the PDF and drag into on to the screen with RefWorks
  • Drop the file into the blue circle that appears

A screenshot showing dragging and dropping a PDF

  • Alternatively click on the + symbol and choose Upload document

You can directly import references from Google Scholar into RefWorks.

  • From Scholar settings select BibliAdding import links in Google Scholarography Manager 
  • Select Show links to import citations ...
  • Choose RefWorks
  • Click Save.

Now any search you conduct within Google Scholar will present you with the option to import the citation into RefWorks. 

You can add multiple references at a time if you have a Google account:

  • Go to Google Scholar and log in to your account 
  • Conduct your search
  • Click on the 'Star' icon under each reference you want to exportThe 'star' (save) icon in Google Scholar
  • Click on My Library in the top right of the screen
  • Select all the references and click on Export (looks like a download symbol). Exporting in Google Scholar
  • Choose RefMan and an RIS file will be downloaded
  • Login to RefWorks and click on the 'plus' symbol 
  • Choose Import and upload the RIS file you just downloaded The menu that appears when you click on the plus icon
  • Set the file import option to RIS - Reference Manager
  • Click Import

Instructions on how to import references from other reference management software such as Endnote and Mendeley are here: