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RefWorks and reference management

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


If you are using RefWorks for the first time, you should sign-up for an account in New RefWorks and follow the guidance in the rest of this LibGuide.

We may advise some users to remain on Legacy RefWorks until the completion of their research. The information on this page offers guidance on adding, organising and managing references using Legacy RefWorks. At the bottom of this page we have also linked to some useful YouTube tutorials, for step-by-step guidance.

Using Legacy RefWorks

Having references in RefWorks means that you can organise your research and keep track of what you've read. It also makes it much easier to reference your essays correctly and create bibliographies in the appropriate style. Adding references to RefWorks will save you time in the long run.

There are three ways of getting references into RefWorks, depending on the database/search tool that you are using for your research:

  • Direct export from a database
  • Downloading a text file from a database
  • Adding references manually

Use the tabs to the right for guidance on how to add references into Legacy RefWorks from some commonly used databases. If you use one that is not listed here, one of these techniques should still apply.

Contact us at if you have any specific queries relating to using Legacy RefWorks.

Hunter, EBSCO (CINAHL/Medline), OvidSP (Medline, PsycInfo, Embase), Internurse/Intermid/Allied Health Professionals, Google Scholar

These databases have an 'Export' or 'Send to RefWorks' button that allows you to send references directly from the database straight into your RefWorks account. If you need any help with database searching, please don't hesitate to get in touch with your liaison librarian by emailing






OvidSP (Medline, PsycInfo, Embase)


Internurse/Intermid/Allied Health Professionals

If you are unable to download a reference from a database, you may have to enter the details in manually. This situation will most commonly arise when you are citing websites, book chapters and reports downloaded from the internet.

1. Click the New Reference button.


2. Select the referencing style you wish to use. At SGUL, the most commonly used styles are Harvard -FHSCE & SGUL or Vancouver.

3. Select the correct Reference Type. This is important as it determines how the item is cited in the bibliography.

4. Type in the information in the fields provided. The format for the author field must be in the format Lastname, Firstname, which each author separated by a comma. For example:  Einstein, Albert; Mozart, Wolfgang A.; Seacole, Mary E.

If you are referencing a webpage that was written by an organisation, not an individual, you can just type in the name of the organisation, such as the Nursing and Midwifery Council. An error message will appear, but you can just press 'OK' to ignore it.

5. Select a folder to put your reference in; if you do not do this the reference will be labelled 'Not in folder'.

6. To save the reference click Save Reference then close the Add New Reference window by clicking on the X in the top right hand corner.

Organising your work

If you have more than ten references you may wish to start using folders to help organise your research. Your folders can be organised according to the specific assignments that you are working on, or different research topics.

This will help you to save time - you won't have to scroll through many references to find the right one, as they will be sorted into relevant themes and topics.


Using folders in RefWorks


Create a new folder

1. Click on the New Folder button; choose a folder name and click Create.


Move references to a folder

At first, your references will not be in a folder.  To move references into a folder, or from one folder to another, just click and drag it into the appropriate folder (you can see these on the right hand side). References can be in more than one folder at the same time.



Deleting references

You can remove references from folders or delete them using the icons highlighted below.

If you have deleted a reference by mistake, it can still be found under View > Deleted References for up to 30 days.


Installing Wite-N-Cite and logging in

You will need to download a free piece of software called 'Write-N-Cite' from the RefWorks website. This software links Microsoft Word to your collection of references stored in RefWorks. There are versions of Write-N-Cite for Mac (Word 2008 and 2011) and PC (Word 2007, 2010 and 2013).

Staff and students at St George's, University of London who do not have Microsoft Word can download it for free through SGUL - email for more information.

This short video shows you how to install Write-N-Cite and log in correctly. Don't be afraid to get in touch if you encounter any problems.

  1. In RefWorks, click on Tools, then Write-N-Cite.
  2. RefWorks should automatically detect the type of computer you are using and will suggest a version of Write-N-Cite for you to download. Check if it is compatible with your computer, and download it. Save the installation file to your computer.

Latest version of Write-N-Cite (4.5.1732)

  1. Click on the RefWorks tab at the top of the screen on Microsoft Word.
  2. Select 'Log in', then 'Login with my institution'.
  3. Select St George's, University of London from the list.
  4. Log in using your SGUL username and password.

Older versions of Write-N-Cite

  1. In RefWorks, click on Tools, then Write-N-Cite.
  2. Copy the long login code that you can see on this page.
  3. Open the installation file that you downloaded.
  4. When the installation is complete, open Microsoft Word.
  5. Click on the ProQuest tab at the top of your word document.
  6. Click on Log In, and paste the code you copied from RefWorks into the box at the bottom of the login screen, marked Login code.




Inserting citations into Word using RefWorks Write-N-Cite

Once you have some references in RefWorks and have installed Write-N-Cite on your computer, you can start to insert citations and bibliographies into your Word documents.

  1. Ensure that you are logged in to RefWorks. Open up Microsoft Word.
  2. Click on the 'RefWorks' tab on the top of the screen. If you cannot see it, ensure that you have followed the steps for 'installing Write-N-Cite and logging in'.
  3. Select the style you wish to use. The recommended styles for SGUL are Harvard -FHSCE & SGUL or Vancouver - these can be found in the 'Other Styles' section.
  4. Click on the link to Insert Citation, select New. A box will appear showing you your folders and references.  Select the reference you want to cite then click on OK.
  5. When you have inserted a few citations into your essay and you are ready to create a bibliography, click on Bibliography Options then select Insert Bibliography.
  6. It is important to double check the bibliography and ensure that it is correct! RefWorks is only as good as the information that you put into it, and sometimes errors may occur. You may have to go back and edit some of your references in your RefWorks library.
  7. If you make any changes to your RefWorks library, such as correcting a spelling mistake, or adding some new references, you need to click on Sync my database and then Reapply output style to ensure that your changes are recorded in Word.


Legacy RefWorks YouTube Tutorials