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Managing your references: Legacy RefWorks


Update on Write 'n' Cite Word plugin

Due to changes in Java's licensing, the RefWorks plugin Write 'n' Cite has been uninstalled from reader computers in the Bodleian Libraries. This took effect on Tuesday 16th April 2019 and means that Write 'n' Cite is not available to use on reader computers in the Bodleian Libraries. Please note, this does not affect personal computers; you will still be able to use the Write 'n' Cite plugin on your own device.

If you have any questions about this, please contact

Which version of RefWorks?

A new version of RefWorks was launched by the developers, Proquest, in 2016. This version is running alongside the previous version of RefWorks (now referred to as “Legacy RefWorks”) indefinitely. Previous advice was that Legacy RefWorks would be retired and that users should migrate to the new version but this decision has been reversed by the supplier.

The Bodleian Libraries runs workshops on the new version of RefWorks only but will continue to provide support for those using Legacy RefWorks.

If you are entirely new to RefWorks, we recommend that you use ProQuest RefWorks (which is the new version of RefWorks). Find out more about ProQuest RefWorks:

If you are using Legacy RefWorks and are interested in using the new version of RefWorks, please be aware that it is currently not possible to edit documents in new RefWorks if they have previously been used in Legacy RefWorks. We strongly recommend that those using Legacy RefWorks at Oxford University delay moving to the new version of RefWorks until any documents you are working on are complete.  Find out more about Legacy RefWorks and migrating to ProQuest RefWorks:

How does it work?

Legacy RefWorks logo

Legacy RefWorks is a web-based reference manager provided free to members of Oxford University via the Bodleian Libraries' institutional subscription. You can log in to RefWorks using your Oxford Single Sign-On or you can create an individual account:

Note, Legacy RefWorks has been superseded by ProQuest RefWorks. Please see the information 'Which version of RefWorks?' on the left of this page to find out more.

Collecting references

Direct export

You can export or push references to RefWorks from many online databases, library catalogues such as SOLO and from Google Scholar.  

  1. First run your search in the database or library catalogue.
  2. On the results page look for options such as "Export", "Save",  "Push" or "Reference Management".   Unfortunately, different databases use different language. 
  3. Once you have chosen Export (or Save, Push etc)  you will often be given a choice of reference manager - choose RefWorks.
    Image of the Mendeley, RefWorks and RIS icons in SOLO
  4. Once you have chosen to export to RefWorks (or push to RefWorks, save to RefWorks etc) you will be asked whether you wish to export to "Legacy RefWorks" or "New RefWorks". Choose "Legacy RefWorks".

Indirect export

Some online databases do not have a direct export option. Where this is the case you can often save your results as "RIS" or plain text files. These can then be imported in to RefWorks.

  1. Run your search in the database or library catalogue.
  2. On the results page look for options  to "Export" or "Save". 
  3. Once you have chosen Export (or Save)  choose "RIS", "TXT" or "RefWorks tagged format" and save the file to a location on your computer where you will be able to find it (e.g. c:/downloads)
  4. Open RefWorks and choose References followed by Import
  5. You will be prompted to choose an "Import filter". If you can find the name of the database or library catalogue you used in the list - use that. If not, choose RIS, TXT or RefWorks tagged format
  6. Click Browse and navigate to find the file that you saved (e.g. in c/downloads)
  7. Choose Import.

The Import References function can also be used to pull in references from other reference managers such as Endnote, Mendeley or Zotero

Capture with RefGrab-It

You can save references to web pages by installing the RefGrab-It tool in your browser. To do this, open Refworks and choose Tools - RefGrabit.

Once you have installed the plug in, click on it when you want to add a web page to RefWorks.


Choose Add Reference. This will pull up a form for you to fill in.

Citations and bibliographies

Cite references and create bibliographies in Microsoft Word documents with Write-N-Cite.

There are hundreds of different Citation Output Styles to choose from. Go to Bibliography and select Output Styles Manager to view the List of Styles.

To install Write-N-Cite log in to Refworks, choose Write-N-Cite from the Tools menu.

There is a guide to using both the the old and new versions of Write-N-Cite on the RefWorks Help pages:

Need help with Legacy RefWorks?

For help with Legacy RefWorks please contact


RefWorks has a called RefMobile. View, search, add references to and add notes to your RefWorks library on the move:

Share references

Share folders of references with colleagues.

RefWorks users will be able to directly export references from the shared folder into their account.

A RefWorks account is not required to access a RefWorks shared folder.