James Madison University
Libraries & Educational Technologies




To Get Started in RefWorks:

  1. If you are creating your account from off campus, be sure to set up your computer for off-campus access.  Click here for more information.
  2. Go to Refworks and create a username and password; this information will be emailed to you as well.
  3. View RefWorks in 5 Minutes, a short video tutorial, to learn basic RefWorks functions.  Hosted on JMUtube, created by our education librarian.


There are three ways citations can be imported into your RefWorks account, depending on the database you're using:

  • Direct import - your citation can be exported directly from the database into Refworks
  • Manual import - you can enter the citation data by hand
  • Text file import - your citation is saved as a text file when you import from within RefWorks

Organizing and searching within your RefWorks account:

  • You can create as many folders as you want to; by default all citations will be imported in the “last imported folder”
  • Be sure to check the “citations not in a folder” by using the “folder tab” and “View folders”
  • *Hint* If you are using the citation for several projects, you might want to add your own descriptor for easier retrieval

Click on the Search button to:

  • Search for an author, a periodical title, or a descriptor
  • Note - RefWorks searches within citations you have already added to your account.  To search for citations outside of RefWorks, select Online Catalog or Database from the Search dropdown menu.

Creating bibliographies and in-text citations:

  • When you are ready to create the reference list, click on the Bibliography tab
  • Select the correct output style from the list
  • Click the radio button “Format a Bibliography from a List of References”
  • Select the file type (probably Word)
  • Choose if you to include All References, references in My List, or References from Folder
  • Click on Create Bibliography


  • If RefWorks doesn't know where to put extra information, it goes into the Notes field. This can happen if fields have been tagged incorrectly.
  • Your citation will be incomplete if the database you are exporting from does not include all of the citation information.  It's very important to know if your bibliography requires full first names of authors and other details.

Exporting to Refworks:

  • from LEO - click here


Need more help?

• Use the tutorials on the RefWorks website - for more options, log into RefWorks, click on Help, then Tutorial RefWorks for Advanced, RefShare, or Output tutorials

• Contact Carrier Reference 540-568-6150 or Rose Reference 540-568-2731
Email the Public Services Desk.


James Madison University Libraries & Educational Technologies