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COMM 4323 - Case Studies in Public Relations: RefWorks

What is RefWorks?

RefWorks is a powerful online bibliographic management tool used to create and organize a personalized database of bibliographic references imported from text files, online databases, or input by hand. It formats both references and manuscript into various writing styles, such as MLA, APA, Chicago, Turabian, IEEE, and more. RefWorks helps researchers to easily gather, organize, store and share citation information.

Creating an account

  1. Go to RefWorks through the UTEP Library Databases portal.
  2. Make sure your screen says Login using RefWorks Credentials "University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP)".
  3. Click the Sign up for an Individual Account link.
  4. Complete the New User Information box.
  5. Use your UTEP Email account   Note: When creating your Login Name, please do not use the following characters: * Asterisk  < >[ ] Brackets = Equal sign + Plus sign  " Quotes \ / Slashes , . : ; Comma, Period, Colon, Semicolon

       6. Click Create Account.

You will receive an email confirmation that has been customized to suit your site's requirements.

After you click on create account, you'll be brought in to your new, empty RefWorks account where you can begin adding your references.

Creating Folders on RefWorks

It is important that you create folders in your RefWorks Account  in order to save and sort your references. The Last Imported folder contains only references from your most recent data import.  To create folders and sub-folders follow these steps:

  1.  Click on New Folder button
  2.  Give the folder a name; click Create.
  3.  To create a sub-folder click on New Folder
  4.  Click on the Create sub-folder link
  5.  Select a Parent folder for your sub-folder and enter a name in the New Folder Name text box.
  6.  Click the Create button to save your sub-folder.

Create a Bibliography

 To create a bibliography from a specific folder or from your entire RefWork account:

  1. Click on Create Bibliography
  2. Select citation style format (APA, MLA, AMA, etc.)
  3. Click on Format a Bibliography from a List of References
  4. Select what file type to create (HTML, Word etc.)
  5. Select to format all of the references or those refereces from My List or from a specific folder
  6. Click on Create Bibliography
  7. Look on the right bottom of screen to open your blibliography
  8. Save your bibliography to your computer or flash drive

Note:  When generating a Reference List from the Bibliography area, the final output is sorted based on the output style you have chosen.  If the output style is based on the order cited in a document, since there is no document, it defaults to alphabetical by first author.

Email it: After the bibliography is created you may also email the list.  The email address in your RefWorks account is automatically entered, but you can overwrite it with another address.  Only one email address can be entered.


Installing Write-N-Cite

  1. Login to RefWorks through the Library Databases portal
  2. Go to Tools and click on Write-N-Cite
  3. Follow the Install Information and download the Write-N-Cite version appropriate to your software.
  4. Save it to your Desktop
  5. Copy Login Code
  6.  Run Write-N-Cite installer
  7. Open Microsoft Office and click on the RefWorks tab
  8. Click on Log in and paste the login code you copied earlier.


Note:The first time you log in to Write-N-Cite, it will automatically “sync” with your RefWorks account.  This may take a few seconds. It is downloading your references, folders and preferred output styles.  Any time you make changes to your RefWorks references you can click Sync my Database in the Extras area and your new and edited references will be included in your account.   

During this period, you can still access all of Word’s functionality, but the Write-N-Cite functions will not become active until syncing has finished.

Inserting Citations in Paper

  1. In Microsoft Office click on the RefWorks tab
  2. Click the Style drop menu and choose appropriate citation style (MLA, APA, etc.)
  3. Start writing your paper when you need to add a citation click on Insert Citation then on Insert New
  4. The Insert/ Edit Citation box will be open form whcih you can access your references by folder or search references using the search box. Select the appropriate citation you want to add and click OK.
    To add more than one citation at the same time click on the + button in the Compose Citation area and the         select the appropriate citations from your references list.

Importing Data into RefWorks

There are different ways to import data to your RefWorks account. The most common are:

  • Direct Import from Databases 
  • Save Citation from Databases into Text Files (.txt)
  • Capturing Web Page data through RefGrab-It
  • Manually Adding Reference
  • Adding Full Text to References

Direct Import from Databases via Direct Export Function

Many databases including Encore (library catalog) provide a Direct Export function which allows you to add citations directly to your RefWorks account. Follow these steps:

  1. Login to RefWorks through the UTEP Library Databases portal in a separate tab.
  2. In the database Select, Mark, Tag or Save to folder the citations you want to add to RefWorks
  3. Locate the Save, Export, Dowload or Sent to link in the database (options differ across databases)
  4. Choose Direct Export to RefWorks or Save to RefWorks link.
  5. You will be taken to a pop up window by RefWorks which illustrate that it is importing references; wait for the import to be completed. If you did not logged in RefWorks in a separate tab you will be taken to the RefWorks login screen.
  6. Once importing finishes you can click on Edit Import Reference, Duplicate Checking Options or View Last Imported.
  7. Move your imported citations from the Last Imported folder into other folders you created for easy retrieval.

Save Citation from Databases into Text Files (.txt)

Not all databases will have a direct export option in those cases you need to save the citations from the database  to your computer as a text (.txt) file and then import them into RefWorks.  You can also import citations from other citation management tools such as EndNote in this matter. 

  1. Mark, tag or save to folder the citations you want to add to RefWorks
  2. Click the Save, Download, Export or Send to link (options vary across databases)
  3. You will be prompted to save a text file (.txt) save the file on the computer
  4. Login to RefWorks through the Libary Database portal
  5. Under References menu select Import. in the drop-down menu select the source of the data and the resouce you are importing from.
  6. Click the Browse button to select the text file you saved the citations on
  7. Pop up window will illustrate that RefWorks is importing references , wait unil it finishes uploading.
  8. Click on View Last Imported Folder link and move the citation to other folder created for easy retrival.

Capturing Web Page Data through RefGrab-It

RefGrab-It works with your browser to capture bibliographic information from web pages giving you the option to import that data into your RefWorks account. To do so follow these steps:

  1. Login  to RefWorks through the Library Database portal
  2. Go to Tools and select RefGrab-It
  3. Follow the install information for the RefGrab-It bookmarklet  that is appropriate for your perferred browser
  4. Find a website that contains useful information to you
  5. Click on the RefGrab-It bookmarklet
  6. RefWorks should take you to a window that displays citation information for your website. Click on Import to add citation to your RefWorks account.
  7. Click on View Last Imported and move your citation to another folder for easy retrival.

Manually Adding References

You can manually add references to your RefWorks account by following these steps:

  1. Login to RefWorks through the Library Database Portal
  2. Click on New Reference button
  3. Select desired citation style from the drop down menu
  4. Choose the folder that you want to add your reference to
  5. Choose the reference type (book, website, journal article....)
  6. Type the information of your reference in the fields you can also add additional fields such as personal notes and abstracts
  7. Click on Save Reference and close the window

Adding Full Text to References

Adding full text to an existing reference:

  1. From within your RefWorks account find the reference you wish to add a full text file and click on the Edit icon
  2. In the Attachments field click the Browse button and select the file you wish to add
  3. Click on the Add Attachment button to attach the file to the RefWorks reference
  4. Click on Save Reference

Adding a full text to a new manually added reference:

  1. Click on New Reference button
  2. Type the appropriate bibliographic information into the form.
  3. On the Attachments field click the Browse button and select the file you wish to add
  4. Click on Save Reference



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