Skip to main content

RefWorks: Introduction

Learn how to use RefWorks, the reference and research manager available to all UNT students, faculty, and staff.

What is RefWorks?

RefWorks is a web-based research manager that allows you to create your own personal database of citations and documents for both academic and personal use. With RefWorks you can:

  • Easily export references from electronic databases, the UNT library catalog, text files, websites and more into your account
  • Quickly create reference lists for papers and projects in the citation style of your choice
  • Store, read and annotate files.

See the Basic RefWorks Handout below and the RefWorks video tutorials to get started with your account.

How Long Will My RefWorks Account Last?

RefWorks is available for all UNT students, faculty, and staff through the UNT Libraries. Your account will last as long as the library has a contract with RefWorks. That means you will have access to your account after you graduate, retire or, resign from your position at UNT. When you are preparing to leave UNT, remember to take these steps:

  1. Enter the Settings in your account
  2. Change your email address to one where you can be contacted in the future
  3. Change your Role to Alumni (even if you are technically a retiree or former employee)

For screenshots of the steps, visit the ExLibris Knowledge Center. If the library ends its contract with RefWorks in the future, we will notify you by email and you'll have the opportunity to export your references in a format compatible with other reference managers.

RefWorks Announcements

A. On December 20, from midnight to 10 am Central Time, RefWorks, Legacy RefWorks, Write-n-Cite, and RefWorks Citation Manager will all be unavailable as the RefWorks data center is moved to a new server. 

B. Write-N-Cite (WNC) and RefWorks Citation Manager (RCM) are currently not compatible with Microsoft Office 2019! To continue using WNC or RCM with MS Word, you must have an earlier version of Word for Windows or Mac. The projected release date for updated RCM is December 31, 2019 or earlier. The upcoming version of RCM will be compatible with MS Office 365 and MS Office 2019. Visit the ExLibris Knowledge Center for more details about downloading and installing WNC or RCM. Contact Erin O'Toole if you need a workaround to create in-text cites and a bibliography in the meantime.

C. As of September 10, 2019, you can chat with the RefWorks support team when you have questions about RefWorks. From inside your account, click on the "?" at the top right of the screen, and then select Contact Support. Click on "Chat with an agent" when an agent is in to start asking your question.

D. Share your Projects with other RefWorks users! Project members can now add/delete/modify folders and references. See the May 7, 2019 Release Information.

E. All information about RefWorks is now available at the ExLibris Knowledge Center. See the Release Information for the latest improvements to RefWorks. 

Have any questions about the updates? Contact your RefWorks administrator, Erin O'Toole.

New RefWorks FAQ

Migration from Legacy to New RefWorks

Q: Why should I migrate from legacy to new RefWorks?

A: There are several reasons to migrate now. First, the library will be discontinuing technical and instructional support for legacy RefWorks, effective August 1, 2019. Second, RefWorks will eventually decommission legacy RefWorks, but they have not set a deadline yet. Third, new RefWorks has a number of helpful features that the legacy version lacks. See a comparison of the versions in the ExLibris Knowledge Center.

Q: How do I migrate from legacy to new RefWorks?

A. Select the migration link from the top left of the opening screen of your legacy account. See the ExLibris Knowledge Center for more details about upgrading

Q: When I create a new RefWorks account, will the references disappear from my legacy RefWorks account?

A: No. The content is copied over to your new account and you can continue to use the legacy account indefinitely until it is decommissioned.

Q: Will the content in reference fields, like Abstract and Personal Notes, migrate over to my new RefWorks account.

A: Yes, all content will be copied to the new account. The fields in the new RefWorks aren't exactly the same, so you may need to move the content around, but it won't be lost.

Q: I have files attached to my references in the legacy RefWorks. Will they migrate to my new account?

A: Yes, attached files will be copied to the new RefWorks. If you have more than one file attached to a reference, only one file will migrate and you will have to manually attach additional ones.

Write-N-Cite (WNC)

Q: Is WNC compatible with Microsoft Office 2019?

A: As of June 5, 2019, WNC is not compatible with MS Office 2019. RefWorks has not announced yet when the new compatible version will be available. For full WNC download and installation requirements, please visit the ExLibris Knowledge Center.

Q: Will I still be able to use WNC with the new RefWorks?

A: Yes, but you will have to install a new version of WNC, which you can find in the Tools section of your account. There are still versions for both Windows and Mac.

Q: The new WNC didn't work the first time I installed it. Now what do I do?

A: Contact Erin O'Toole to walk you through the steps for uninstalling and reinstalling the new WNC.

Q: Does the new WNC work with Word Online in Office 365?

A: No, it does not. It only works with Word in Microsoft Office.


Q: What the best browsers to use with new RefWorks, especially the Save to RefWorks function?

A: RefWorks is optimized to work with Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari. Avoid using Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge, which won't allow you to use all RefWorks functions.

Subject Librarian

Erin O'Toole's picture
Erin O'Toole
Willis Library, Room 080

RefWorks Resources

Find RefWorks help files and technical support at the ExLibris Knowledge Center. Video tutorials are available at the RefWorks YouTube Channel.

Tips for Using RefWorks

Off-Campus Use: If you are using RefWorks somewhere other than the UNT campus, you can still use your RefWorks account. Simply enter your UNT email address and the password you created for the account.

Browsers: RefWorks works best with Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari. If you're having problems with RefWorks, try switching to a different browser. Avoid using Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge.

Pop-ups: RefWorks functions with the use of some pop-ups. Be sure to turn off your pop-up blocker, or add RefWorks as an exception to the blocker.

Additional Links