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RefWorks and reference management

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

Welcome to the Refworks and reference management guide

There are several popular reference management applications, but the features they have in common include:

  • collect references - no need to type details in manually
  • store references in a web account or on your desktop
  • organise references
  • add notes to your references
  • link to full text, web pages and documents
  • cite your references and create bibliographies in different styles

This guide focusses on using RefWorks, available to staff and students at St George's, University of London.

We have created a video series on how to use RefWorks, which you can find here on our YouTube channel.

Most reference management programs work in the same way: first, you import reference data from a source such as Hunter or Ovid search tool, then use the software together with Word to generate references and bibliographies in the correct style.

Use the CTR search bar below to find out how to reference different sources. For example, type 'journal article' to see how to correctly reference a journal article.

Choosing reference management software

Each application has its own pros and cons and suits different styles of working, so it can take some time to decide which one is right for you. A useful comparison table has been created by the University of Oxford.

At SGUL, we provide support, training, and free access to RefWorks. See the other pages of this guide for more information on how to use this software. Also on this page is a list of other options you may wish to consider, although please note that we are unable to provide support and training for these should you encounter any issues.

Reference management software options

Free options - basic functionality (Easy to get started with. Suitable for undergraduates, or for those preparing shorter pieces of academic writing)

Free options - more advanced functionality (May take a little more time to get used to. Suitable for postgraduates, or those preparing dissertations and longer pieces of academic writing)

Paid for option (Very advanced and powerful functionality. Suitable for postgraduate research projects)

RefWorks video series

We have created a video series on how to use RefWorks, including setting up an account, importing references, managing your folders and using RefWorks Citation Manager (RCM).

Access it here.

Further help and information


Try our help page which links to more guides to  download on  reference management.

For help and advice on selecting the right reference management software for your needs, contact your liaison librarian.

More LibGuides


Information in this guide has been reused or adapted from ProQuest LibGuides. See their Terms of Use here.