Two versions of RefWorks: RefWorks New and Legacy Refworks

There are currently 2 versions of RefWorks available: RefWorks New and RefWorks Legacy. Legacy RefWorks will not be developed anymore. It is not yet known until when Legacy RefWorks will remain available.

Differences between RefWork New and Legacy:

  • Modernized look and feel of RefWorks New
  • New functionality in RefWorks New:
    • Drag PDFs to RefWorks with automatically recognizing and entering bibliographic data.
    • Improved folder sharing capabilities.
    • Marking and annotating PDFs.
  • In RefWorks New you can only have one account. The account must use your email address of Hanze University Groningen.
  • Where you used different accounts in Legacy to work with different groups, in New you have the opportunity to work with different groups through Projects.
  • For more information on the differences between RefWorks Legacy and New, please visit the ExLibris Knowledge Center.

Which version to use?

We currently recommend using Legacy RefWorks to perform a systematic review. This is because the Legacy RefWorks proves to be more reliable when deduplicating references. In all other cases you are advised to choose RefWorks New.

Upgrade from Legacy to New

Upgrade from RefWorks Legacy to RefWorks New.

  1. Login with your Legacy RefWorks account to RefWorks Legacy
  2. Click on the link "Upgrade to the latest RefWorks version!" at the top left!


  1. Follow the instructions on the screen.
    1. If you already have a RefWorks New account, choose "Log in"
    2. If you don't have a RefWorks New account yet, create a new account.


  1. Then follow the instructions on the screen. After upgrading, your references, files, folders and custom output styles are available in your RefWorks New account.

Points of attention:

  1. In RefWorks New, only one file can be added to each reference. If more than one file is added to a reference in RefWorks Legacy, a duplicate reference is created during the upgrade.
  2. Shared folders must be shared again after upgrading your account.

Actions to take after upgrading your account:

  1. Login to your account in RefWorks New
  2. Install the RefWorks Citation Manager add in (Word 2016 or later)

Upgrade documents from RefWorks Legacy to New

If you use the RefWorks Citation Manager while logged in to RefWorks New, you will be asked to upgrade your document if your document was originally created with RefWorks Legacy. Upgrading documents to RefWorks New is only possible for documents that use citations from a single RefWorks account. If citations from multiple Legacy RefWorks accounts have been used, for example, if multiple people are working on the document and adding references from their own Legacy RefWorks account, the document cannot be upgraded to New RefWorks.

Always save a copy of the document before upgrading the document to New RefWorks! Do not upgrade the document if you need to meet a deadline for your document. Upgrade if you have time to learn the new interface.

upgrade image March release 2021

In case of problems with upgrading documents, see the Tips for upgrading a document created in Legacy RefWorks for use in New RefWorks or look under Contact for possible support within the Hanze Library.

RefWorks Legacy

RefWorks Legacy will not be further developed and will be taken out of production as soon as RefWorks New is sufficiently developed. It is not yet known when this will be. For a brief explanation of the possibilities of Legacy RefWorks, take a look at the Legacy RefWorks Tutorials at het ProQuestRefWorks YouTube channel.

Other helpful resources