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Web site: www.refworks.com

Date of first review/ name of reviewer: 07/14/2008 [Eric Frierson]

Additional reviewer(s):

Produced by:  ProQuest LLC

Cost: $100/year for individuals; institutional subscription prices vary by size of institution

Description: RefWorks is online bibliographic management software used for importing, organizing and using references and citations.

Platform: Web-based

License: Can be licensed to individuals or as a site license for organizations and institutions

Maturity: Founded in 2001; updated periodically.



Features may vary between institutions, depending on customizations done by the institutional RefWorks administrator.


  • Easily export search results from databases, RSS feeds, Google Scholar, and others into your RefWorks account
  • Assign keywords to references and sort them into folders
  • Create bibliographies in any of hundreds of styles, inlcuding APA, MLA, Chicago, and a variety of specific journal styles
  • Format entire papers using the Write-N-Cite plug-in for Microsoft Word (PC and Mac available)
  • Find full-text of references in your library's holdings using OpenURL
  • Import and export to other bibliographic management software
  • Cite web pages using RefGrab-It browser button
  • References can be private or shared using optional add-on RefShare
  • Keep track of current research using optional add-on RefAware



  • References can be accessed from any computer connected to the Internet
  • Easy to find full-text of references if your RefWorks administrator has enabled OpenURL links
  • No need to install updates or keep a current version; RefWorks is automatically updated
  • Export references to EndNote, RIS, BibTex and MODS. 



  • Adding entries manually is tedious on the web form
  • Page re-loads make working with RefWorks more cumbersome than working with a desktop application like EndNote
  • Working with Word documents is not very seamless; for example, citing in APA style will require users to go back through the entire document and add page numbers after formatting.  EndNote is much better in this regard.



  • Excellent for collecting, storing and accessing references - use RefWorks to gather and organize citations, then switch to EndNote to write your document.
  • Excellent for collaborative work - give group members the username and password to an account and anyone can add and edit references.
  • Check your bibliography!  While RefWorks doesn't make too many mistakes, as with any bibliographic management software, your imported references could come with messed up information.




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