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Academic Skills: RefWorks & Reference Management

This guide provides information and instruction for developing academic, information, and digital literacy skills.

RefWorks Reference Management


RefWorks is the recommended reference management tool here at UoS. With RefWorks you can easily

  • Import references directly from bibliographic databases and the Summon search tool.
  • Edit references to include .pdf documents and your own notes.
  • Manage your references in multiple folders which you create, for different subjects, assignments or projects.
  • Share your references with fellows in your work groups.
  • Generate in-text citations and full reference lists and bibliographies in the referencing style of your choice, e.g. UoS Harvard.

U0CS Harvard Style UoS APA Style UoS Footnotes (MHRA)  RefWorks and Reference Management

Create a RefWorks Account (New Version)

A RefWorks account is available to all University of Suffolk students, staff and researchers.

To create a RefWorks account:

  1. Go to RefWorks  and click the “sign up” link.
  2. Fill in your information using your institutional email address (you cannot sign up with,, etc.).  

Once you have activated your account you will receive an email with a link to complete the registration process. This will give you immediate access and you can get started importing and managing your references and documents.

Access your RefWorks Account (Old Version)

We are currently migrating to a new version of RefWorks. You can continue to access your existing account here RefWorks  although you are advised to migrate to the new version as soon as possible which you can do very easily by clicking the link at the top left of the home page once you have logged in.

The old version will be switched off on the 31 October 2016

Help & Guidance

Access the following guide to set up your RefWorks account through University of Suffolk

You can access video tutorials about using RefWorks from below:

It is important to check your references as you import them from online databases, or other reference management tools into your individual RefWorks database. this will help to ensure that they use the correct format when be generated into in-text citations or reference lists and bibliographies.

Reference type 

Within RefWorks it is possible to store your citations using different reference types. Different reference types include different fields. E.g.

  • Journal articles will include fields for volume and part numbers
  • Book chapters will include fields for chapter authors and page numbers

After importing your references you can edit each record and change it's reference type.

Source type 

RefWorks has two source types, print or electronic. The default we have selected is electronic. Electronic format includes fields and data for

  • URL
  • Accessed date
Both of these fields are used in references for online information sources.

Citation details

By ensuring the citation details are correct as they are added to your database you will save time as you insert in-text citations and generate reference lists and bibliographies. Details to check include

  • Author name - format should be lower case other than initial letters. If you manually enter names ensure they follow the University of Suffolk Harvard standard i.e. Smith, J. and that any multiple author names are separated by a semi colon.
  • Electronic sources - has RefWorks correctly completed the fields for the URL and the Accessed date. information on the web constantly updates and changes, and it can sometimes be hard to relocate materials at a later date.

It is possible to add references to your RefWorks database manually, but also through direct import from other reference management tools or online databases and websites.

You may see a Security Certificate warning when exporting to RefWorks from off campus, this guide explains what to do next.

Importing from online databases


Bibliography or British & Irish History

  • Run search, select results and view selected records
  • Click on Export
  • Select download and .txt RefWorks tagged format
  • Click Export, and save file locally

 In RefWorks

  • Click on References, and then Import
  • Select From Text file
  • Importer filter / Data source = University Campus Suffolk (under header University Campus Suffolk specific)
  • Select Tagged Format (RefWorks)
  • Browse to the locally saved file and click Import

Dawsonera E-Books

 At the title you want to reference
  • Click on Read Online
  • Export to Menu
  • Select RefWorks
  • RefWorks will open and import the reference directly into your last imported folder

Oxford Journals Archive

 In Oxford Journals

  • Run search, select records, select 'Download to citation manager' next to 'for checked items below' and click Go.
  • Click on the word RefWorks
  • RefWorks will open and import the reference directly into your last imported folder


Oxford Art Online

 In Oxford Art

  • Run search and view record
  • Click on Cite
  • Click on Export Citation
  • Save file locally as an .RIS file

 In RefWorks

  • Click on References, and then Import
  • Select From Text file
  • Importer filter / Data source = University Campus Suffolk (under header University Campus Suffolk specific)
  • Select RIS format
  • Browse to the locally saved file and click Import


PubMed and PubMed Central

  • Conduct your search and mark the records you wish to export
  • Click on Display Settings and then select Medline and click the Apply button
  • Your results will be displayed in a tagged format. Using your browser’s Save As function, navigate to the local drive and save the file in the text (.txt) format.
  • Now login to RefWorks
  • Select Import from the side bar (under Quick Access)
  • In the Import Filter/Data Source select NLN PubMed as the data source and PubMed as the database.
  • Browse to find the text file you saved to your computer
  • Click Import and your records should appear in the Last Imported Folder


  •  From your results list mark any items that you wish to export by clicking on the + symbol to the right of the citation.
  • Click the folder icon (top right of screen).
  • Using the Export as drop-down option select RefWorks
  • RefWorks will open and import your references directly into your last imported folder

Taylor & Francis

In Taylor and Francis
  • Run search, select references
  • From the 'choose an action' drop down list, choose 'download citation'
  • From the 'choose format' options, select RefWorks Direct Export
  • Click on Download citation
  • RefWorks will open and import your references directly into your last imported folder


Using Ref-Grab-It

RefGrab-it is a tool which sits within your internet browser and literally 'grabs' information from webpages and adds them as references to your RefWorks database.

Installing the Ref-Grab-It tool

  • Open Internet Explorer and login to RefWorks
  • In RefWorks, click on the 'Tools' menu and then select RefGrab-it
  • In the window which opens there are 3 grey boxes.  The bottom one is called RefGrab-It bookmarklet
  • In the bottom right hand corner of this grey box is a link which says RefGrab-It.  Right mouse click on this link
  • In the menu which opens, choose 'Add to favourites'
  • Click on Yes to continue if you see a Security Alert message
  • Select where you would like the link RefGrab-It to appear in your Favourites

Using Ref-Grab-It

 The tool is very simple to use - but can be very slow, and the information it grabs can be limited.

  • Open the webpage you want to include in your database
  • Click on the RefGrab-it button on your favourites 
  • Check the reference thoroughly before closing the web page



Write-N-Cite is a plugin for Microsoft Word that enables you to very easily insert citations in to the body of your assignments, and then create a bibliography from those citations at the end. It can also be used on Macs.

Installing Write-N-Cite

The Write-N-Cite plugin will be installed on all University of Suffolk Ipswich IT centrally, and a tab should be visible on the Microsoft Word ribbon.

To install it on your own equipment you will need to have first set up your RefWorks account. the download option is then available under the Tools menu > Write-N-Cite.

Using Write-N-Cite with other word processors

The Write-n-Cite plugin only works with Microsoft Word, however, the One Line / Cite View tool is an alternative to Write-N-Cite that works with all Word Processing packages on all operating systems.

RefWorks Guide to Write-N-Cite for Windows


If you see this message when using any of our e-resources you will need to tell your Internet Browser to allow cookies from some of the library websites, including RefWorks. 

More information can be found below:

Reference Management Tools

Reference management tools, or software helps you to gather and organise any references you find when searching online electronic resources, webpages or even library catalogues. The tools can also be used to generate bibliographies, reference lists and in-text citations.

Note: you should always read through any generated lists for accuracy!

There are many different reference management tools. Some are available as open source tools - freely available on the web, whilst others require subscriptions.

At University of Suffolk we have compared these tools, and now subscribe to RefWorks. This tool is available to all University of Suffolk staff, students and alumni, and allows us to develop the University of Suffolk Harvard format for use in generating in-text citations and bibliographies.

Further information on RefWorks, and how to use it, including importing from other software tools, using it with electronic databases and online tutorials are available through this guide.


  • Strength - the ease with which you can grab references from a range of resources.
  • Weakness - can only be used within the FireFox browser.
  • We can not offer University of Suffolk Harvard standard as a preloaded customisation.
  • Zotero training videos


  • Strength - currently freely available through our subscription to Web of Knowledge.
  • Weakness - full functionality is only offered through EndNote desktop. EndNote has limited storage and access could be withdrawn by the supplier at any time
  • We can not offer University of Suffolk Harvard standard as a preloaded customisation.
  • EndNote web & EndNote desktop


  • Strength - .pdf storage facilities, collaborative aspects and resource discovery.
  • Weakness - the web version has limited storage capacity, and the desktop version need to be installed individually on each computer.
  • We can not offer University of Suffolk Harvard standard as a preloaded customisation.
  • Mendeley training videos

Microsoft Word Tool

  • Strength - Available through installations of Microsoft Word, and lists can be managed and reused in multiple documents.
  • Weakness - citations need to be manually entered, no direct export / import option.
  • We do not currently offer a University of Suffolk Harvard customisation.
  • Microsoft Word referencing