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WGS4100: Capstone Course in Women's Studies: RefWorks

What's RefWorks?

Even though it's listed under the Find Articles in Databases link from the Library homepage, RefWorks isn't that kind of database.  It's more of a database that you create.

RefWorks is a citation manager that can help you organize and keep track of the sources you are using for your research.

As you do your research within the Library website, you'll be able to import citations from our online catalog and most of our databases, and can even pull in book records using its built-in catalog search.  And, as an added bonus, RefWorks can convert your citations into a properly formatted bibliography!

Just keep in mind that RefWorks saves only your citations. It does not automatically save the full-text of an article.  Therefore, it's always a good idea to keep electronic copies in your own files, when possible.

Keep reading for more information, and/or check out this guide created by RefWorks, to get you started.

Getting Started

Creating an Account

You can access RefWorks from the list of of Library databases under the Find Articles in Databases link on the homepage.

When you access RefWorks from off-campus you will first need to log-in as a WPUNJ user.

When you first use RefWorks, you must create an account that will be used to store all of your citations. 

To sign up:

  1. Select the Sign up for an Individual Account link on the login page.
  2. Fill out the form by creating a login name and password.  Make sure that it's something you can easily remember, although it does not have to be the same as your WPUNJ username and password.
  3. You can use any email address for this account, which will be useful if you forget your login information.
  4. Be sure to select your User Type and Focus Area, and type the confirmation code listed, before clicking the Register button.

Once this has been done, you're ready to begin using RefWorks.  This is only necessary the first time, and you will be able to use your RefWorks login name and password, the next time you visit.

*** If you're off campus when you attempt to create your account, you will need to include the WPUNJ group code (contact me or the Reference Desk for assistance)


Setting Your Output Style

Output Style tells RefWorks how to import and display the citations you add to your account.  Each citation style places an emphasis on different parts of a citation and formats them differently. 

For this class, you'll want to set up RefWorks to use the APA - 7th Edition style.

  1. Select Output Style Manager from the right-hand menu.

  1. A screen will appear with a List of Output Styles along the left and a list of Favorites on the right.  Highlight the APA - American Psychological Association, 7th Ed. option from the left and press the right-pointing green arrow to move it to your Favorites.
  2. Close the pop-up using the X in the upper right-hand corner.

You're now ready to add citations and create bibliographies in the APA style!

Organizing your Information

Organizing Citation with Folders

I would highly recommend starting your RefWorks experience by creating at least one folder in which to store your citations.  As far as I know, there are no limits to how many folders you can create, so make as many as you need to best organize your research (by class, by topic, by project, etc.).

In addition, whenever you import citations to RefWorks, they initially end up in your Last Imported folder.  This is a temporary holding place for the most recent imports, and it's easy to lose track of unfiled items if you don't file them right away.

To create a new folder (or subfolder):

  1. Select the New Folder button at the top of the page: 

  2. Name your folder and press the Create button.

  3. Your new folder will now appear in the list on the right-hand side of the screen.  Once you've added citations, the number of items a folder contains will be listed next to its name.

Importing Citations

How to Import Citations From Databases

Bringing citations from one of our many databases to RefWorks is relatively easy, although the process may be slightly different in each. 

Generally, when you've found an article that you wish to include in your research, you'll want to look for a button or link that says Export, Export to RefWorks, or some variation on these words.

Some databases, like any of our many EBSCOHost databases even let you set aside multiple articles at once, so that you can export a batch or citations at the same time.  Simply add items to a folder and Export them in bulk.

  1. When you send citations to RefWorks, a new window will usually appear (it might be in the background, so you may have to look around at first) and you will be asked to log in.
  2. A window will appear indicating how many citations you have successfully imported.
  3. Click on the View Last Imported Folder button to see the citations you've just brought into RefWorks.
  4. Click the icon that looks like a folder (see below) and select the appropriate folder.  Your citations will automatically be filed and will be reflected in the folder count (the number of citations in a given folder) to the right-hand side of the page.

Books and RefWorks

How to Import Books into RefWorks

Like our databases, our Online Catalog offers you the ability to directy import book citations into RefWorks.

After finding a book or media item of interest, look for the Export Record option above the title (be sure to click the title in your results list, so that you're looking at the full record).  You'll see two options: Export to RefWorks and Export to EndNote.  

Select Export to RefWorks and follow the steps outlined for How to Import Citations From Databases (above).

Need Help?

RefWorks Workshops

The Library offers a number of both basic and advanced RefWorks workshops throughout the semester.  If you think you'd like to learn more about it, or are having difficulty, check the Library Workshops page for dates and times.  Or, you can always set up a one-on-one Research Consultation.

This handy guide is also helpful in getting started: RefWorks Quick Start Guide

Manual Entry?

There may be instances where the item you're trying to add to RefWorks is not able to be imported directly from another source.  In these cases, you will need to manaully create citations using the New Reference button.


Be sure to select the appropriate Reference Type at the top of the page, to ensure that you have the right fields available to you.

If you're not sure of what to do, contact the library for assistance.

Creating a Reference List

Making a Bibliography

When you're ready to create your list of References:

  • Select the Create Bibliography button at the top of the page.
  • Choose your Output Style (APA--7th ed.).
  • Change the File Type to .rtf, .doc, or other appropriate format.
  • Select the folder containing your list of references.
  • Click on Create Bibliography.

Watch for the message to clear Pop-up blockers. You may need to start over if you haven't already clear the Pop-up blockers.