Skip to main content
Scholars Portal logo

RefWorks: Importing references

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

Importing references

Most popular databases offer an Export to RefWorks feature which allows you to export your references directly to your RefWorks account. Other databases will let you download your references in a standard format like RIS or BiBTeX, which you can then manually import into your account. Please see the instructions below:

Importing from Ebrary

Exporting single references

  1. Perform your search on ebrary. If you would like to export the reference for a single book:
  2. From the search results page, click on the RefWorks button below the bibliographic information for your desired book.
  3. Alternatively, if you have already clicked through the full view of the book ("QuickView" page), select InfoTools → RefWorks on the left-hand side of the screen.
  4. A new window will open prompting you to log in to your RefWorks account. Once you have logged in, RefWorks will confirm your references have been imported. Click View Last Imported Folder to review your references.

Exporting multiple references

  1. If you would like to export multiple references, you must first create an account with ebrary.
  2. Once you have created your account, perform your search. Use the Add to Bookshelf button below the bibliographic information for each book you would like to export. Once you are done collecting books, click on the Bookshelf tab at the top of the screen.
  3. Next, create a folder using the Add Folder button on the left-hand side of the screen.
  4. Add your books to this folder by clicking on the book cover and dragging it over to the folder link on the left-hand side.
  5. When you are done adding your books to this folder, click on the folder link. Once the page opens, select Export your entire folder to: RefWorks at the top.
  6. A new window will open prompting you to log in to your RefWorks account. Once you have logged in, RefWorks will confirm your references have been imported. Click View Last Imported Folder to review your references.

Importing from EBSCO

  1. Conduct your search, and click Add to Folder for each record you wish to export:
  2. Navigate to Folder from the top menu or the right hand column:
  3. Select the references you would like to export, then select Export:
  4. Choose Direct Export to RefWorks, then select Save:

Importing from Gale Literature Resource Center

  1. Perform your search on Gale Literature Resource Center.
  2. Check the items you would like to export to RefWorks. Then click on Marked Items in the toolbar.
  3. Select Citation Tools from the left menu.
  4. A new window will open. Select RefWorks.
  5. A new window will open prompting you to log in to your RefWorks account. Once you have logged in, RefWorks will confirm your references have been imported. Click View Last Imported Folder to review your references.

Importing from Gale Virtual Reference Library

  1. Perform your search in Gale Virtual Reference Library. Click on Save Article for each item you wish to export. A green check mark will indicate that you've correctly saved it. Next click on Saved Articles in the toolbar.
  2. A new window will open showing you your saved items. Click on Citation Tools in the toolbar.
  3. A new window will open. Select RefWorks from the sidebar.
  4. A new window will open prompting you to log in to your RefWorks account. Once you have logged in, RefWorks will confirm your references have been imported. Click View Last Imported Folder to review your references.

Importing from Google Scholar

Please note: If you are off-campus, you must access Google Scholar through your school's proxy like any other database, otherwise you will have trouble exporting references. Please refer to a list of Google Scholar proxy links by school.
  1. Perform your search, then select the Cite button under the reference you would like to export. Google Scholar will only let you export one citation at a time.
    Screenshot of Cite button in Google Scholar
  2. Choose the Import to RefWorks link.
    Screenshot of Import to RefWorks option in Google Scholar

Importing from Highwire Press

  1. Conduct your search.
  2. On the search results page, check all the items you wish to import to RefWorks. If you want all items, select the Check All box. Select the Download to Citation Manager button. Click on Go.
  3. On the next page, you will see all of your selected items listed. Click on Download Citations to Citation Manager.
  4. Choose RefWorks to get directed to the RefWorks login page. Once you login, your references should get imported into RefWorks.

Importing from JSTOR

  1. Perform your search on JSTOR. Use the checkboxes on the left-hand side to select the articles you would like to export, then click the Export link:
  2. A new page will load. Click the RefWorks link. You will be prompted to log into your RefWorks account.

Importing from LexisNexis

  1. Conduct your search and select the checkboxs next to each article you wish to export.
  2. Choose the Export Bibliographic References tool on the right hand side of the page (looks like an open book).
  3. If you have selected multiple documents in the previous step, it will default to Tagged Documents being selected. You can change that to All Documents or Select Items if you prefer. Next, select Export Using RefWorks. Adjust the output style to reflect how much information you need from the reference. In the example below, MLA is the chosen output style. Click Export.
  4. You will be prompted to login to your RefWorks account.

Importing from Ovid (MEDLINE, PsycINFO, EMBASE)

  1. Conduct your search and select the box next to each article you wish to export. Select Export from the menu bar:
  2. Choose RefWorks from the drop-down menu and choose how much information you'd like to export. Select Export Citations:

Importing from Oxford Journals

  1. Perform your search. Use the checkboxes to select which references you would like to export. Then, for checked items below, select Download to Citation Manager.Then click on GO:
  2. A new window will open and you will see the items you had selected. Next, click on Download ALL Selected Citations to Citation Manager. If you've changed your mind and no longer want all of these records, you will need to go back to the previous step.
  3. You will be taken to a new page where you can select RefWorks as your citation management program.

Importing from Project Muse

  1. Perform your search. Use the Save Citation links on the left-hand side (under the cover) to select the citations you would like to export.
  2. Once you have selected all the citations you would like to save, click on the Saved Citations link in the top right-hand corner.
  3. Select Option 1, Export to RefWorks. A new window will open and you will be prompted to log into your RefWorks account.

Importing from ProQuest

  1. Conduct your search and select the box next to each article you wish to export. Select Export from the menu bar:
  2. A lightbox will open. Choose RefWorks as the export format, and select Continue:

Importing from PubMed

  1. Conduct your search and select the box next to each article you wish to export. Select Send To in the top right, then select Citation manager. Download this file to your desktop:
  2. In RefWorks, go to References > Import:
  3. Select NLM PubMed as the Import Filter and PubMed as the Database. Browse to find the file you saved to your desktop, then click the Import button. You may import the files to a selected folder, or simply upload to the Last Imported folder:

Importing from Sage

  1. Perform your search. Use the checkboxes to select which references you would like to export:
  2. Click ADD citations in the right-hand sidebar. The number in the brackets will change to reflect the number of citations you have added.
  3. When you are ready to export your citations, click Save/Print/Email/Download.
  4. Click Download to Citation Manager.
  5. Click on the word RefWorks. (Do not click on the "Click here..." text below it. This is the option for manual imports, which you should only use if the direct export feature isn't working correctly.)

Importing from Scholars Portal (Journals & Books)

Import One Article/Book

  1. Conduct your search. If you want to import just one article/book, click on the article title. A new window will open.
  2. Select the RefWorks button. In Scholars Portal Journals, this is located next to Mark Record (see below). In Scholars Portal Books, you will find the RefWorks button to the right next to EndNote and WizFolio.
  3. You will be directed to RefWorks. If you are already logged into RefWorks, the records will import. If you are not logged in, you will be prompted to log in.

Import Multiple Articles/Books

  1. If you want to import more than one article/book at a time, after you conduct your search, you need to select the checkboxs next to each article you wish to export. In Scholars Portal Journals, the checkboxes are located to the left (see below). In Scholars Portal Books, the checkboxes are to the right.
  2. Once you have selected the articles/books you wish to export, select the Marked Records tab at the top of the page (in Scholars Portal Books you will see a marked records link on the top right of the page).
  3. A new page will open containing all of your marked records. Check the boxes of the records you would like to import to RefWorks. If you want to import all of the records, choose Select All and it will check all of the boxes for you. Then, at the top of the page, select the RefWorks button.
  4. You will be directed to RefWorks. If you are already logged into RefWorks, the records will import. If you are not logged in, you will be prompted to log in.

Importing from Scopus

  1. Conduct your search and select the checkbox next to each article you wish to export. Select Export from the menu bar:
  2. Select RefWorks as the Export format. Adjust the output style to reflect how much information you need from the reference. Click Export:

Importing from SpringerLink

Importing from Taylor & Francis Online

Exporting single references

  1. Perform your search. If you would like to export the reference for a single item, click on the title to open a page that looks like this:
  2. Click on Download Citation. A new window will open.
  3. Choose RefWorks Direct Export. Under "Include," choose Citation for the content below if you want to export just the citation information. Choose Citation and abstract for the content below if you would like to include the abstract with the citation information. Choose Citation and references for the content below if you want to export your citation as well as all of the references in that item's bibliography. Then select Download citations.
  4. A new window will open prompting you to log in to your RefWorks account. Once you have logged in, RefWorks will confirm your references have been imported. Click View Last Imported Folder to review your references.

Exporting multiple references

  1. If you would like to export multiple references, click on the box to the left of each item you would like to export. Then, from the pull-down menu in the top left corner, choose Download citation.
  2. A new window will open. Choose RefWorks Direct Export. Under "Include," choose Citation for the content below if you want to export just the citation information. Choose Citation and abstract for the content below if you would like to include the abstract with the citation information. Choose Citation and references for the content below if you want to export your citation as well as all of the references in that item's bibliography. Then select Download citations.
  3. A new window will open prompting you to log in to your RefWorks account. Once you have logged in, RefWorks will confirm your references have been imported. Click View Last Imported Folder to review your references.

Importing from Web of Knowledge

Please note: You must allow pop-ups for Web of Knowledge exports to work.

Page numbers will not be included if you export from the search results page. You will need to click through to the full record (by clicking on the article title) to export the full record into RefWorks.

  1. Conduct your search and select the checkbox next to each article you wish to export, then select Refworks from the export bar.
  2. When you select RefWorks, a Send to RefWorks window will appear. Select the Record Content you would like to send to RefWorks and hit Send. RefWorks will open in a new tab.

Importing from Wiley Online Library

Please note: The direct Export to RefWorks function in Wiley Online Library does not work for Canadian users. You will need to follow the manual import instructions below.
  1. First, perform your search on Wiley Online Library. Use the checkboxes on the left-hand side to select the references you would like to export, then click Export Citation.
  2. Select Reference Manager from the drop-down menu next to Format, then click Submit. You will be prompted to save an RIS file to your computer. Please remember where you save it.
  3. Log into your RefWorks account and go to References > Import. Select RIS Format as your Import Filter/Data Source, and Multiple Databases as your Database. Click Browse and locate the RIS file you saved to your computer in Step 2, then click Import.

Importing from WorldCat

Please note: If you would like to export more than one reference at a time, you will need to create a free account on WorldCat and save your references to a list.
  1. Locate the item you would like to export. Click the Cite/Export link on the right-hand side.
    Screenshot of WorldCat export options
  2. A small lightbox will appear. Click Export to RefWorks.
  3. A new window will appear, prompting you to log into your RefWorks account. Once you have logged in, RefWorks will confirm your references have been imported.

Importing from a text file

Some databases don't offer direct exporting to RefWorks, and sometimes databases that do offer direct exporting have problems. In most cases you should still be able to bring these references into RefWorks by importing the file manually.

  1. If you are importing references from a database, look for standard bibliographic formats like RIS or BiBTeX. If you are transferring references between RefWorks accounts, RefWorks Tagged Format is the best option.
  2. Save the file to your desktop, then open your RefWorks account and navigate to References > Import:
    Screenshot of References menu
  3. Select the format of the file you downloaded (e.g. RIS, BiBTeX, RefWorks Tagged Format, etc.), and the database (if available). If you're not sure which filter to use, select the list of filters and databases in the top right-hand corner and find it, or choose Multiple Databases.
    Screenshot of import window
  4. Browse to find the file you saved to your desktop and click the Import button. You may import the files to a selected folder, or simply upload to the Last Imported folder.