Skip to main content
Click logo to go to Libraries homepage

Citation Management Tools: Legacy RefWorks

Refworks, Zotero, Mendeley, EndNote, Papers. Which one is the right reference management tool for you? Start here.

Accessing Refworks

Access your RefWorks account from on or off campus. Off-campus users authenticate through the proxy by:

Upcoming Workshops

Database-specific instructions

Instructions for importing references from hundreds of specific databases are available at the RefWorks website

Refworks is transitioning to a new version

RefWorks is transitioning to a new version.  There are benefits of both New RefWorks and Legacy Refworks, and there are compatibility issues related to how the versions communicate with with Word documents.  Read the information on this page before deciding when to transition, or, for those considering RefWorks initially, which version to use.

What is Refworks?

RefWorks is a web-based bibliographic management tool freely available to all current Penn students, faculty, and staff. You can use Refworks to:
  • Create a personal database online
  • Import references automatically from most research databases and library catalogs
  • Organize and annotate references
  • Format references and bibliographies in Microsoft Word documents

Using Refworks with Microsoft Word

Write-N-Cite allows you to add references to a Word manuscript from your RefWorks account. Download Write-N-Cite by accessing your RefWorks account, selecting "Write-N-Cite" found in the "Tools" drop-down menu, and following the installation instructions. 

When accessing Write-N-Cite from off campus you will be asked for a "group code."

Options for Refworks users who leave Penn

Faculty, staff and students use a Library subscription. Former affiliates need alternative access. 

Penn Alumni
Penn graduates are eligible for a free RefWorks Alumni account. Sign-up for it by following these steps. You can then access RefWorks with this Group Code: RWAlumni

Former Faculty, Staff, and Non-Alumni
If you are leaving the University but will not have the status of "Alumni" then you aren't eligible for an Alumni account; however, there are other options:

  • Purchase your own personal RefWorks account. See here for more information.
  • Transfer to a new institutional RefWorks account If one is available to you.
  • Export the references in your RefWorks account into another software package such as Zotero or EndNote. More information on this options is here.
  • Print out all your RefWorks citations and notes for future use.

NIH Public Access Compliant Citations

The NIH has revised their policy for submissions to require the PubMed Central reference number be included in documents submitted to the NIH.

References pulled from Pubmed using RefWorks will automatically contain PMCID's if they exisit in the PubMed record.  Choose the "NIH - National Institutes of Health" output style when creating a grant related Word document.

More information is available on our NIH Public Access Policy Guide.

Refworks Consultation

Consultations are available upon request.  Use our consultation form.