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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.

Watch the video, Create Your RefWorks Account, or see the Introduction to RefWorks handout below to get started with your account. To learn about the basic and advanced functions, view the RefWorks video tutorials on this guide.

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)

See the article, "Will alumni be able to access RefWorks after graduation?" at the RefWorks Customer Knowledge Center or see the handout below. 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

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

RefWorks FAQ


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.


Write-N-Cite (WNC) and RefWorks Citation Manager

Q: Is WNC compatible with Microsoft Office 2019 and Office 365?

A: No, it is not. You will need to install RefWorks' new writing tool, RefWorks Citation Manager. Please visit the RefWorks Customer Knowledge Center to read the article, "Installing RefWorks Citation Manager," for instructions. 

Q: Will I still be able to use WNC with the newest version of 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. For instructions, see the article, "Downloading and Installing Write-N-Cite," in the RefWorks Customer Knowledge Center.

Q: 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 WNC.


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 discontinued 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 "Legacy RefWorks v. RefWorks" in the RefWorks Customer Knowledge Center for a comparison

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 RefWorks Customer Knowledge Center for "Upgrading to the New RefWorks." 

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.



Subject Librarian

Profile Photo
Erin O'Toole
Willis Library, Room 080
Contact: LinkedIn Page

RefWorks Resources

Find RefWorks help files and technical support at the RefWorks Customer 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.


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.


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