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Citation Management Tools: RefWorks

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

What is RefWorks?

  • RefWorks is a web-based bibliography and database manager that allows you to create your own personal database by importing references from text files, online databases and other sources. You can use these references in writing papers and automatically format the paper and the bibliography.
  • Penn Libraries has purchased a site license to RefWorks so there is no additional fee to use the program for Penn students, faculty, or staff.
  • There are currently two versions of RefWorks.  We strongly encourage new users to access the New RefWorks interface!
  • For those who have a Legacy Account, you may continue using that interface.

Which RefWorks should I use?

Refworks Consultation

Consultations are available upon request.  Use our consultation form.

New RefWorks

Getting Started

  • Access the New RefWorks website.
  • Select “Create Account” on the RefWorks page.  You will need to enter a Penn University email account and create a password.  Next, activate your account (you'll receive an email with a link to complete the registration process).
  • After creating your account, you are ready to populate your RefWorks database with citations.

Supporting Information

Legacy RefWorks

  • We don't recommend creating a new Legacy account.  RefWorks Legacy will eventually be retired.  If you have an account, however, you are welcome to continue using it for the foreseeable future.
  • You may create a separate New RefWorks account to begin exploring this new modern interface.  You can even copy over references stored in your Legacy account to New RefWorks.
  • Legacy RefWorks will no longer be updated.   New features that are developed by Proquest will only be implemented in the New RefWorks interface.

Supporting Documentation

Using RefWorks with Microsoft Word

Several options are available when ready to add references to your research paper.  Note the attached video links.  Additional videos are available when you follow the links below.

  • Use "Create Bibliography" or "Quick Cite" within the New RefWorks interface.  Using these options allow you to copy/paste formated citations into your Word document.  Watch this YouTube video -
  • Use the "RefWorks Citation Manager" add-in available within the Microsoft Store to add citations to your document.  This option is only available for Word 2016 users.  It is extremely user friendly.  Watch this YouTube video -
  • Use the "Write-N-Cite Tool".  This option is available for Word 2007, Word 2010, Word 2013, and Word 2016 (PC only) users.  Watch this YouTube video -