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RefWorks and reference management

A how-to guide for the reference management software, Refworks


You do not need to worry about losing access to RefWorks after leaving St George's. Using the few simple steps outlined below, you will be able to migrate to a RefWorks Alumni Account and continue accessing your projects after leaving the university.

In this guide you will also find a section on exporting your references from RefWorks to alternative referencing software such as Mendeley.

Note: it is very important that you complete these steps before leaving St George's as you will need your university credentials to login to RefWorks and change the account details.

Alumni access will continue as long as St George's continues to subscribe to RefWorks.

Enabling your RefWorks Alumni Account

Prior to graduation, log into your RefWorks account and navigate to the Profile/Role section of the Settings page. Under Role change the drop-down menu to Alumni.

A screenshot displaying the first name, last name, institution, and role options on the RefWorks settings page.

You should also update your email address as you will no longer have access to your St George's email. You can update your email address on the Profile/Email section of the Settings page underneath the Role drop-down menu.

A screenshot displaying the email option on the RefWorks settings page.

If you have created your account with your St George's credentials, you will need to remove the institutional login from your account. Once this has been done, you will access RefWorks via a username and password and you will no longer use the "login from my institution" option. To do this, select Remove Credentials from the option below.

A screenshot displaying the Institution Credentials option on the settings page.

You will then be asked to set a new password for your account. Enter a strong password and click Save Password and Continue.

A screenshot displaying the prompt to enter a new password.

And that's it! You can now continue using RefWorks after graduation.

Exporting your references to other software

You may find that you wish to export your RefWorks references to an alternative referencing software such as Mendeley (which is free to use).

There is a wide range of referencing software available, and it is up to you to decide which one works best for you. The following example demonstrates how to export your RefWorks references to Mendeley, but can be applied to most referencing software.

Note: if you would like to keep your references in their individual project folders, you will need to export one folder at a time.

  • Navigate to the list of references that you wish to export
  • Click on the Share icon on the top menu bar and select Export references
  • Select All references and RIS Format
  • Click export

This will generate a RIS file that you can import into Mendeley or an alternative referencing software.

  • In Mendeley, select Add new and Import library
  • Select the RIS file that you downloaded from RefWorks to add its contents to your new Mendeley library
  • If you exported your RefWorks projects individually, you will need to import each file individually

RIS files are a standardised format for citations and can be used to export references into most referencing software.

Getting help

RefWorks is a powerful tool and you may find that by the end of your studies you have collected hundreds of references for many different projects. We hope you have found this guide helpful in allowing you to continue accessing your work after leaving the university.

If you are having difficulty with migrating your RefWorks account, please contact us at