RefWorks is a bibliographic management tool, which helps you store and organise your references. With RefWorks you can also create reference lists or bibliographies in formats such as RGU Harvard and RGU Vancouver, as well as formatting essays or dissertations to include in-text citations and reference lists.
Please note that due to upgrades to a new interface, you might encounter an unfamiliar window when you first access RefWorks. See more information here.
Please remember you will always need to check that any of your citations, reference lists or bibliographies comply with the RGU Harvard Guide or RGU Vancouver Guide before submitting assignments, dissertations, etc.
You can either access RefWorks directly, or find it via the RGU Library Webpage - under the Referencing & RefWorks section you will find Access RefWorks. You will be prompted to use your RGU username and password to log in.
When you start using RefWorks, you will first need to create an account:
Please note that due to upgrades to a new RefWorks interface, you might see this window after you log in. Please select ‘Export to Legacy RefWorks’ to proceed to the version accessible by RGU students and staff. If you accidentally select the other option, you will notice that RGU students and staff do not have access.
If you had already logged in, you will be directed straight through to RefWorks; if not, you might have to log in from RefWorks.
At times, even if you are already in RefWorks, you will be prompted to log in through a different route. This will usually happen when transferring information from databases or using write-n-cite.
In this case, click on ‘My Institution’s Credentials (Shibboleth)’, then select ‘Robert Gordon University’ from the drop-down menu. You might be prompted to input your RGU username and password.
In order to use RefWorks you must populate it with citation or reference information. There are several ways to enter this information:
If you would like to add information about books to RefWorks:
There are procedures in place for importing journal article information from RGU databases straight into your RefWorks account. Find out about these procedures in RefWorks: Importing from Databases.
Manual references might be necessary for different types of references, such as webpages.
Folders are a useful tool for organising and locating your references when you access your RefWorks account. There is no limit to the number of folders you can create, and you can put references in more than one folder at the same time. It is useful to name your folders to something useful, such as the chapters of a thesis or dissertation, topics of your study, etc.
To create a new folder:
Subsequently, if you select the ‘Organise & Share Folders’, you can see all your folders, locate any references not in a folder and rename, clear or delete any folders as needed. The folders can also be accessed from the menu that appears on the right of the screen at all times.
References can be added to folders at various stages. You can select the reference once you add it to RefWorks and add it to a folder of your choosing using the ‘folder menu’ on the grey bar at the top of the reference list.
If folders are created in advance, you can occasionally add references to a folder when importing from a library catalogue.
To view the full details of any reference in your RefWorks account, click on the magnifying glass icon next to the reference.
Also, from ‘View’ you can either see a list of ‘All References’, as well as ‘Duplicates’ (references that are the same or very similar); these can be ‘Exact Duplicates’ or ‘Close Duplicates’. You will then be able to review the references and delete any unneeded records.
If, at any stage, you need to adjust the information in a reference or add additional details, click on the ‘Edit’ button and the reference will open in an editable window.
Changes could include:
Don't forget to save any changes!
Once you have added some references to RefWorks, you will be able to search through them. If you select ‘Search’ on the top menu, you have a few criteria:
The first step in creating a reference list for your essay is to add the citations to the work.
As an alternative to the method described above, you can use an option called Write-N-Cite, a plug in tool which you can install for Word. Find the link to download and install it in the Tools menu; guidance can be found in the Help section (in RefWorks).
Please note that students cannot use Write-N-Cite on university computers, but you can install it on your personal devices.
After inserting citations (in curly brackets) to your piece of work the next step is to turn them into proper references and create a reference list at the end of the document.
Please remember to check the document and the reference list and make any edits needed such as adding a heading to the list, any formatting required by your school/department, changes to the references, adding in page numbers for direct quotes and so on.
If you get an error message when trying to create your reference list try saving your word document in the Word 97-2003 format; using an earlier format of word can sometimes stop error messages being produced.
Remember to check the bibliography, make any edits needed and then either save and/or add it to your main piece of work.
Alumni of the Robert Gordon University can get free access to RefWorks for as long as the University is a paid customer of RefWorks. This entitles you to:
To access RefWorks as an Alumni you will need a group code. To get it please either contact the library, or if you are a current student looking to set up access before you graduate, then find the code here (CampusMoodle).
Once you have the group code you can create your account:
It is very important that you keep your email address information up-to-date in your RefWorks account (you can update it at Tools, Update User Information). RefWorks may periodically change the Group Code for the Alumni site and you will receive notification of any change via email.
Please make sure you keep your account information updated.
The Backup/Restore feature allows you to make a copy of your database (including RefID numbers and folders) and custom output styles, into your new account.
Please Note - Folders that do not contain any references will not be saved. If you have empty folders that you wish to retain add a reference to the folder before backing up. Also, any preferences set in the customize area of RefWorks will be included in the backup.
To backup and restore your current RefWorks account:
In the current account:
In the new Alumni account:
Restoring will overwrite all of the references in your database. If you need to restore from a back up for some reason, be sure to do so in either an empty database or to an account that does not have any data you want to save.
These are some of the current known issues / problems with RefWorks, along with any solutions we have identified for them. We are updating this page as issues are identified or fixed. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any queries or are experiencing any other problems.
This sometimes happens when importing items using the 'search online catalog or database' facility. It can cause problems when adding citations to your essay and formatting the reference list / bibliography.
To fix it, click the 'Edit Record' icon, delete one of the dates and save.
While Art Source primarily includes journal articles when the results are sent to RefWorks, they appear as the generic reference type rather than the journal article type. This is a problem as the generic reference type is substantially different to the journal article one.
To fix it click the 'Edit Record' icon and from 'Reference Type' select 'Journal Article' type and save. All the information will be in the correct fields.
You might notice when you send journal article information from CINAHL to RefWorks, additional page number information appears. Instead of the start and end page, CINAHL is also including the total number of pages.
This extra information will also be added to reference lists / bibliographies.
To fix this problem you can:
There is an intermittent problem that occurs when people are attempting to log in to RefWorks. We are finding that some users, after entering their RGU username and password, are taken to an additional screen headed Shibboleth-enabled Institution Login rather than being logged in to their account.