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RefWorks: Importing References

Getting started with your RefWorks account

Importing from Google Scholar

1. Go to and select "Settings" from the homepage.

2. Under "Bibliography manager" Select "Show links to import citations into" and choose RefWorks from the drop-down menu.

3. Then "Save"

Manually Adding Citations

Some online resources do not offer the ability to directly export search results to RefWorks. Here is tutorial on how to manually add a citation.


Importing from PubMed

You have a couple of options if you want to import citations from PubMed. 

From PubMed 

  1. On the page that includes the article information and abstract, select the Send to button and then select Citation Manager
  2. Then click Create File.          
  3. The created file will end in .nbib and will automatically download/save to your computer.
  4. Log into RefWorks and click the Import option under References

  5. Once you click Import, a new box will load with some options:                                                                                
  6. Be sure to change the Import Filter/Data Source to NLM PubMed. You should also change the Database to PubMed. Select the text file from wherever your browser downloaded it. If you want the citation to go directly into a specific folder, select that folder name from the Import Into Folder dropdown menu. 

From PubMed via Refworks

  1. Login to your RefWorks account and from the homepage, select Search and then Online Catalog or Database                                                                                   
  2. When the new window loads, select PubMed from the Search dropdown menu. Type in your search terms and hit the search button.
  3. Your results will load in a new box.
  4. From this box, check the citation (or citations) you want to import. You can specify a folder to import to by picking from the dropdown menu, or you can just hit the import button.



Importing From Science Direct

  1. From the page of the reference you want to import into Refworks, click Export Citation near the top of the record, underneath the Home option.

  2. The next page will load and give output options. Pick the content option (Citation only vs. Citation and Abstract) best suited for you and select RefWorks Direct Export.

  3. Click Export. If you're already signed into RefWorks, a new tab will open with an Import Reference dialog box (if you aren't signed in, you will need to do so before you can see the dialog box). Your reference has been imported into RefWorks.

  4. If you want to add your citation to a specific folder, select the second option - Edit Imported References. Click the drop down menu after Add to folderpick the destination folder and hit save. 

Saving articles from the Web

The Save to RefWorks button grabs information from any web page – in some cases a complete article – and adds it to your RefWorks library. 

To add the Save to RefWorks button to your browser, click on the More icon  and select Tools.   Simply drag the Save to RefWorks button to your browser.  Once you’ve installed it, go to any web page and click the Save to RefWorks button to capture the information.

You can save a set of search results or an individual article - the choice is yours.  You can easily edit metadata prior to importing into RefWorks.