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RefWorks is a online tool that can import citations from databases and format them in various output styles for your research papers' bibliographies.  It also has a Write-N-Cite function that helps you write your paper in Word, coordinating parenthetical notes, footnotes, and endnotes with your bibliography.

RefWorks edition:

W&M Libraries currently use the legacy edition of RefWorks.  A new iteration of RefWorks is in development, with plans for a summer 2018 release.  We’ll post updates and provide plenty of lead time before migrating to the new iteration.

START:  Go to the box below and review the Basic RefWorks handout.

NOTE:  Always access RefWorks through Swem Library's home page or through a database that you've accessed through Swem Library's webpages:  that will ensure that RefWorks recognizes your account.


RefMobile GROUP CODE:  From a computer (either on campus or off campus), always access RefWorks through Swem Library's webpage or through a database that you've accessed through Swem Library's webpages.  

However, if you're using RefMobile (see details below) and are prompted for the "William and Mary" group code, please contact Swem Library's Reference Desk at 757-221-3067.  We are required by the RefWorks vendor to give out this RefMobile group code on an individual basis. 

(Tip for Reference staff:  this RefWorks RefMobile group code is stored in the security notebook and on the library wiki in the Reference section.)


RefWorks and Google Docs

Guides to RefWorks and Google Docs -- RefWorks LEGACY version (still being used at W&M Libraries):


Guides to RefWorks and Google Docs -- RefWorks NEW (2016-17) version (W&M Libraries still using LEGACY):


RefWorks and login problems:  if, when you mark and choose to export citations from a database and then at the RefWorks login page choose “My Institution’s Credentials/Shibboleth,” but the W&M Central Authentication Service (CAS) screen isn’t appearing, here’s what RefWorks recommends (12/4/2015):


A.  Browser cookie:

(1)  Before searching databases, first log into RefWorks from the library's home page  [ Bibliography Tool (RefWorks) ].   This apparently will “establish the browser cookie,” according to the RefWorks technician, that will – hopefully – make the process work better.

(2)  Then log into databases and search, mark, and export.


B.  Clearing cache/history.   If the steps above don’t resolve the problem, try clearing the browser’s cache/history.  Here’s are steps for Firefox (pulled from the web):

  • From the History menu, select Clear Recent History.
  • If the menu bar is hidden, press Alt to make it visible.
  • From the Time range to clear: drop-down menu, select the desired range; to clear your entire cache, select Everything.
  • Next to "Details", click the down arrow to choose which elements of the history to clear; to clear your entire cache, select all items.
  • Click Clear Now.
  • Exit/quit all browser windows and re-open the browser.


C.  Another option is to allow all pop-ups:

In Firefox, click Tools (pull-down menu) --> Options --> Content --> then uncheck the Block Pop-Up Windows option.


PubMed's "Help" webpage that includes information on exporting citations to a bibliographic manager tool such as RefWorks.

Exporting citations from PubMed into a reference management program [from PubMed's Help screens]:

To export citations into a reference management program such as EndNote, Reference Manager, and ProCite:

  • In your search results, use the citation check boxes to select citations. To export all the citations do not select any citations.
  • From Send to, select File.
  • Select MEDLINE from the format menu.
  • Import this saved file into your reference management program.


MIT's webpage that tells how to use RefWorks with LaTeX and BibTeX


Write-N-Cite lets you use your RefWorks list of references to place notes (parenthetical notes, footnotes, and endnotes) in your research paper.  Below are the basic steps for using Write-N-Cite; see also the Write-N-Cite guides in the RefWorks and Write-N-Cite -- Handouts section above.  


On all campus computers on which you log in:  

  1. RefWorks account:  If you haven't already done so, create a RefWorks account (as detailed in the separate information about RefWorks) and add citations for the sources you'll be citing in your research paper.
  2. Your research paper:  Open Word and your research paper document.
  3. Open Write-N-Cite:   Click the computer's START button, select Programs, then Editors & Viewers, then RefWorks, and then Write-N-Cite.   Log in with the RefWorks user name and password for the RefWorks account that you created.
  4. Viewing your references:  A window will open, showing all the references you've saved to RefWorks.  To see just the ones in the folder you want to use, click View and choose that folder.  
  5. Inserting a note:  In your Word document, place the cursor where you want to insert a note.  Then, using the Write-N-Cite window, click on the Cite link next to the appropriate source. 
  6. Page numbers, etc.:   after the placeholder note is in the your document, click the Edit Citation link and type in the specific page number.
  7. Final formatting:  To have Write-N-Cite put the notes in the proper format for the style you're using (e.g., Chicago, MLA, APA....), in the Write-N-Cite window, click Bibliography.   That will convert the notes to the proper style and will add a list of the sources cited so far, formatted in the appropriate style, at the end of your paper.