Ways of collecting references

There are several ways to collect references and add them to your RefWorks database.

  • Add references from databases to RefWorks (for more information, see below).
  • Add references manuallu in RefWorks. To do this, start in the main navigation and click on + Add.

Then you can choose:

  • Upload a document, e.g. a PDF of a magazine's article.
  • Import references from a file, e.g. a RIS, BibTex or PubMed file.
  • Manually create a reference.

PLEASE NOTE: When using the University of Groningen Hospitality Agreement: if direct exports from UG databases to your Hanze RefWorks account cause problems, use one of these solutions:

  •  Use an incognito or in-private window in your browser.
  •  Or use 'Save as RIS file' in the database and import this file into RefWorks.

Collecting references in databases

How you get a reference from a database to RefWorks, depends on the export options of the database you use. The most common options are
via Direct Export or via Save and Import.

For example, Direct Export looks like this:

With the "Save and Import" option, you first save the references in a file (e.g. RIS file) and then add them into RefWorks via: + Add> Import references.
For more information, see: Collecting references per database.

Add - Upload document

Upload document - you can upload full text documents, e.g. .pdf, .ppt(x) or .doc(x) files, from your own computer by selecting them in your file list. You can also drag and drop the files onto the RefWorks site to add them to your All references page or to a specific folder. For example, if you add the PDF file of an article, RefWorks will search the document for metadata and add title, author, pagination etc. in your reference. Do check the data yourself and adjust when necessary.

Add - Import references (eg RIS, BibTex, PubMed)

With 'Import References' you can import references from another reference management tool or from a file.

From other reference management tools:
Direct import is possible from Mendeley. If you want to import references from Endnote, you have to export the references from Endnote as a RIS file and import this file into RefWorks.

Import from a file:
RefWorks supports hundreds of formats, including RIS, BibTeX and PubMed. Drag the file to RefWorks in the box provided or use the link to “select a file from your computer” and upload it.

Size import files
It's recommended not to import files larger than about 3Mb. Depending on data density that can be 1000 to 3000 references. When a file is to large, you can open the file in notepad then break the file down. Each record will start with the tag PMID- and there will be a line break between the end of a record and the the PMID- start of the next. 

Add - Create new reference (manually)

With + Add> Create new reference you can manually add references. If you want to add the reference to an existing Folder, first select that Folder and then click the + Add icon.
If you add a reference manually, you will see the option 'Find and complete a reference using the title' behind the title.

If you click on that, RefWorks will make suggestions based on the title entered. If a suggestion matches the publication you are looking for, click the suggestion and all fields will be completed.

YouTube tutorial - Exporting references to RefWorks

YouTube tutorial - Creating References and Adding Documents Within RefWorks


Do you have questions about using RefWorks? Visit the walk-in consultation hour in the Hanze library or contact one of the RefWorks specialists. See Support & Contact.

Other helpful resources