Online Tutorial: Getting Started with RefWorks

Use this tutorial to learn to use RefWorks



RefWorks is bibliographic referencing software that allows you to store and manage your references and create citations and bibliographies in your work.


RefWorks is in 2 parts: an online part accessible via the internet where you collect and store references and a Microsoft Word add-in with which you create citations and bibliographies.




Setting up your RefWorks account

  • Go to the RefWorks website and select 'Create Account'
  • Type in your University of Leicester email address and choose a password then click Sign up

Signing up to RefWorks

  • You should then be sent an activation email. Click on the link in this email to finish setting up your account.

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Organising your RefWorks account

Create a folder to store your references in by clicking on My folders, then Add a folder on the left hand side of the screen.

Add a folder

Type in a name for your folder and click Save. It will then be added to your My folders list.

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Getting References into your RefWorks account

You can get references into your RefWorks account by importing them from some databases and search engines. The video and instructions below show you how to import references from Library Search. If you want to import references from other sources, instructions are available on the Library website.

Importing references from Library Search

This video video shows you how to import references from Library Search. Alternatively, follow the instructions below.

Do your search from Library Search on the Library website.

From your list of results, click on the star icon on the left hand side of each item you would like to export.

Library Search start icon

Then click on My Favourites link at the top of your Library Search results page.

Library Search My Favourites

In My Favourites, tick the box next to each of the results you want to export, then click on the drop down menu on the right hand side of the page, choose Push to RefWorks and click Go.

Library Search Push to RefWorks

You will need to sign in if you are not already signed in to your RefWorks account. Your references should then be imported into RefWorks and the Import Complete box will open, telling you how many references have been imported.

Import complete

You should then check that you are happy with the information that has been imported. To do this, click on Last imported on the left hand side of the RefWorks screen.

Last imported

Then, click on each reference. The full details will show on the right hand side of the screen.

Editing and moving your references in RefWorks

When you have imported references into RefWorks, check that you are happy with the information that has been imported. If there is anything you need to change click on the pencil icon to edit and save the reference.

Editing references

You can move references into your folders by dragging and dropping them into the correct folder.

You can move multiple references in a list at the same time by clicking 'Select all', then clicking the folder icon at the top of the screen, selecting the folder and clicking 'Apply'.

Add to folder

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Manually creating references

You can also manually create references in RefWorks by clicking the + icon at the top of the screen and choosing 'Create new reference'.

Manually add a reference

Use the drop-down menu to select the type of reference. Start typing in the 'Title' field and use the lightning icon to find and complete the reference. Alternatively, complete all relevant fields and click Save.

Lightning icon

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Installing the Microsoft Word add-in on your own computer

If you want to install the Word add-in on your own version of Word, go to RefWorks and click on Tools.


Scroll to Cite in Microsoft Word then select the correct 'Download & install' option for your computer and follow the instructions.

Download and install write n cite

If you are using Google Docs, you can use the RefWorks add-on by following these instructions.

If you are using Office 2016 you can install the RefWorks Citation Manager from the Store. Follow the instructions from RefWorks below:

RefWorks Citation Manager for Windows PDF icon

RefWorks Citation Manager for Mac


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Creating Citations and Bibliographies in Microsoft Word

On student computers the Word add-in should be automatically installed.

On staff computers the Word add-in can be installed via the Program Installer (choose RefWorks Write-N-Cite).

Click on the RefWorks tab at the top of your Word document.

Word ProQuest toolbar

Click on Log In and login with your RefWorks username and password.

To select the referencing style you want to use, click on the down arrow next to Style. If the referencing style you want to use is not in this list, follow the instructions to amend your Recent Styles list.

To insert a citation into your document click on Insert Citation and then Insert New. Open the correct folder and select the reference you want to cite. Then click on OK.

If you want your reference to appear as a footnote, once you have selected your reference tick Make Footnote before clicking OK (for the University of Leicester Footnote style, this box will automatically be ticked).

Insert citation - make footnote

If you want to insert a page number into your citation, begin inserting your citation as above. Before clicking OK, type in to the Suffix field exactly what you want to appear to indicate your page number. You must include spacing and punctuation in the Suffix field. e.g. , p.21 or : 21.

Using suffix field

To insert a bibliography at the end of your document, click on Bibliography Options, then Insert Bibliography.

Insert bibliography

This video video shows you how to insert a citation and bibliography.

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Further help

You can find more help with using RefWorks:

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