Skip to main content
Scholars Portal logo

RefWorks: Selecting an output style

This guide was developed for Canadian university students by Scholars Portal, a service of the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL).

Selecting an output style

When you are ready to format your document and create your bibliography, RefWorks offers 3,000+ output styles for you to choose from, including popular style guides like APA, Chicago, IEEE, as well as journal styles like Nature and many more.

List of available output styles

Thumbnail of list of available output stylesList of 3,000+ available output styles from ProQuest

Please note: There may be a delay before newly-released output styles appear for Canadian users. If you cannot find the style you need in the Output Style Manager, but it is on ProQuest's list, please contact us and we can provide you with a copy.

Adding a style to your favorites

When you go to create a bibliography in your RefWorks account online or in Write-N-Cite, you will only see a few output styles. These are not the only output styles available in RefWorks. There are actually more than 3,000 output styles you can choose from!

Screenshot of output style drop-down menu

To add an output style to your favorites list:

  1. Go to Bibliography > Output Style Manager.
    Screenshot of Bibliography menu
  2. Perform a search or scroll through the list to find your desired output style.
    Screenshot of Output Style Manager
  3. Click on your desired output style to select it, and then hit the green right arrow to add the style to your Favorites list. The style will now appear in your output style drop-down menu in your RefWorks account and in Write-N-Cite.
    Screenshot depicting how to add output style to Favorites list

Preview an output style

Having trouble identifying the correct output style for your needs? You can preview output styles in the Output Style Manager.

  1. Go to Bibliography > Preview Output Style.
  2. Use the drop-down menu to select an output style you wish to preview. RefWorks will show you a sample in-text citation (or footnote, where appropriate) and bibliography entry for any defined reference types.

Requesting a new output style

September 8th, 2014: Unfortunately, RefWorks is no longer developing output styles. Requests for new output styles or updates to existing ones cannot be accommodated. Please refer to the instructions for customizing an existing output style instead.

Customizing an output style

If you need an output style that isn't available in RefWorks, or need to make updates to an existing output style, you can customize any RefWorks output styles to meet your needs.

  1. First, determine what output style you would like to customize. You should always consult the official guide for the style, or the instructions for authors provided by the journal.
  2. Navigate to Bibliography > Output Style Editor. A box will appear. Find the style you wish to edit in the drop-down menu, and select Save As. Rename the style so you can easily identify it:
  3. The box will reload, but now an Edit button will appear at the bottom.
  4. There are many editing options, so make sure you're devoting your time to the ones you need! Before you start making changes, check that you are editing either the Bibliography or the In-Text Citations as needed, as well as the correct Reference Type, and the correct Field.
    Important: Editing the Generic type is not enough. You will need to edit any and all Reference Types that you intend to cite. For example, if you are citing journal articles in your document, you will need to edit the Journal Article type.
  5. Under the Settings section you can modify settings such as citation order, grammar between citations, and indenting.
  6. For each Reference Type, you can edit the contents, ordering, and grammar of a citation.
  7. Once you've made a change, you will have the option to preview your new style at the bottom, using the Update button.
  8. Once you save your style, it will be automatically added to your Favorites list so you can easily access it. If you're using Write-N-Cite 4, don't forget to Sync your changes and select your new output style.

A more detailed guide for customizing output styles is available in PDF:

Guide to Modifying an Output Style (PDF)