RefWorks is a reference management software package that enables you to:
- import references from databases or text files
- create references from saved PDF articles
- build up your own database of relevant references
- add correctly formatted citations to word documents
- build a bibliography
RefWorks is a web-based package that can be used from any computer with an internet connection. It is particularly useful for undergraduates and taught-course postgraduates preparing projects and dissertations.
RefWorks is funded by Library Services and is a free service to our users.
Creating an account and logging in
Click on Log in to RefWorks above and log in with your College username and password when asked to do so.
You will be taken to the Create Account screen.
You need to enter the following information:
- Your name and College email address
- Your department
- Your status e.g. undergraduate
You are now ready to start using RefWorks!
There are various ways to do this:
- Import using Save to RefWorks
- Direct Export
- Import saved PDFs of articles
- Import references from Imperial College Library Search
- Import a saved file
- Add manually
Further information on all of these import methods is in our Refworks quick guide (pdf).
Installing RefWorks Citation Manager (RCM) in Word
RefWorks Citation Manager (RCM) is an app available from the Microsoft Office App Store which can be used in Word 2016 and above for Windows or Mac to insert citations and create reference lists.
It is not possible to log into RCM using your College credentials. In order to use RCM you need to set up a password in your RefWorks account.
- Open your RefWorks account, click on your name at the top of screen and select Settings
- If a log in box appears select Log in via my Institution, select Imperial and log in with your College credentials
- Scroll down the page to the Alternate Password section and click on Change Password
- Enter a new password (N.B. this should not be the same as your College password)
To install RefWorks Citation Manager in Word:
- Open a new Word document and select the Insert or Add-ins tab
- Click on Get Add-ins and type RefWorks in the search box
- Select the RefWorks Citation Manager app and click Add
- The RCM app now be available under the My Add-ins menu and in a new RCM tab
- Select RCM from My Add-ins, or from the RCM tab to open the app in a side window
- Log in using your College email address and the RefWorks password you created
Select Log in with New RefWorks.
Creating references with RCM
Click on the hamburger (three lines) to open the main menu and select your citation style
In the main menu you can choose to switch your Bibliography Off or On. If On your reference list will be automatically updated in your document when you add citations to the text. If Off, you will need to switch it On when you have finished adding your citations to create a reference list at the end of your document.
Use the Search box to locate specific citations, or click on All references to view the citations in a folder
Place your cursor where you want to cite a reference within the document and hover over the reference you want to cite in RCM. The Cite This button will appear, click the button to insert the citation into your document
To insert additional references into a single citation, tick the box next to each citation. A preview of the citation will appear the top of the RCM window. Click on Insert citation to insert the citation. The order in which references appear in the citation is determined by your output style.
The RefWorks output style will determine the format of both your in-text citations (if you're using RCM) and your reference list. The output style decides which fields will be displayed in your reference list, in what order, whether footnotes will be included and much more.
RefWorks has many hundreds of output styles to choose from. Before using RefWorks to generate your reference list you should check which output style your department prefers you to use. Using the wrong style may lose you marks.
Output styles can use different fields to format references. Therefore, it's advisable to decide on your preferred output style as soon as possible rather than edit your reference list to ‘fit' an output style later on.
- In RefWorks click on Normal View in the top right of the screen
- Select the cog icon and the Citation View Settings window will open
- Type the name of your preferred style into the search box and click on the name to select it
- The name of the style will now appear at the top of the window, click Save
- Your references will now be displayed in your selected style
Help and Support
If you have any questions or require assistance using RefWorks please contact Library Services using the ASK the Library button on the homepage or by phone on 020 7594 8810.
Attend a library training workshop on RefWorks. For a timetable visit the Learning Support - Workshops web pages.
The RefWorks support website has guides, documents and online tutorials which you may find useful.
RefWorks also have a number of short ‘how to’ videos available on YouTube.
Download the Refworks quick guide (pdf).
RefWorks for alumni
You can continue to use your RefWorks account after you graduate.
If you have created a password for RCM, you can log into RefWorks using your College email address and your RCM password.
If you have forgotten your password, or have not previously set one up, enter your College email address in the log in screen and click Forgot your Password to create a new password.
- Once logged in click on your name in the top right corner and select Settings
- In the Profile section change your Role to Alumni
- Scroll down to the Institutional Credentials section and click Remove Credentials
- If you wish, you can change the email you log in with by changing the Email displayed in the Profile section
- When you next log in, remember to use the correct email and the password you have created
Please note that alumni access will continue as long as Imperial College continues to subscribe to RefWorks.
Moving from legacy to new RefWorks
Legacy RefWorks will be retired in Summer of 2023. Active legacy users (those who have logged into their legacy account since 2020) will have their accounts automatically transferred to new RefWorks in November 2022. The Library will contact you with more information.
If you prefer to move your account yourself, please follow the instructions below.
Moving from legacy to new RefWorks is quick and easy. Your legacy RefWorks account will continue to be active once you’ve transferred to new RefWorks, and the references in your legacy library will be unaffected.
If you have started writing a document and have added citations via your legacy RefWorks account, you will need to continue using legacy to finish the document. You cannot use both legacy and new RefWorks in the same document.
To move from legacy to new RefWorks
- Create a new RefWorks account see RefWorks - Creating an account and logging in
- In the menu bar of new RefWorks click on the + icon and select Import References
- Select the import from RefWorks option and click the Authorize button
- Log in to your legacy RefWorks account using your College credentials when prompted to do so
- The references and folder structure from your legacy account will be uploaded into new RefWorks
RefWorks: How to access RefWorks
A quick guide on how to access RefWorks
RefWorks: Quick guide
A quick guide video to Refworks
RefWorks: Adding references to your account
How to add references to your account
RefWorks: Creating a reference from scratch
This video explains how to create a reference from scratch
Reworks: Direct export from Google Scholar into Refworks
A video showing how to directly export from Google Scholar into Refworks
Reworks: Search online resources
A quick guide on how to search online resources
RefWorks: Using the Save to Refworks button
How to use the Save to Refworks button
RefWorks: Editing a reference
A video showing how to edit a reference
RefWorks: What is Write N Cite and how to download it
What is Write N Cite and how to download it
RefWorks: How to use Write N Cite with Vancouver in Word
A video explaining how to use Write N Cite with Vancouver in Word
RefWorks: editing a Reference Style - Superscript
A video showing how to edit a Reference Style - Superscript in Refworks