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York University Libraries > Refworks


Log in to RefWorks (get the group code)
Log in to Refworks

For information on footnotes, bibliographies, and writing manuals, see the Footnotes and Bibliographies guide.

About RefWorks

What is RefWorks?

RefWorks is a web-based bibliographic management tool (citation manager) that allows you to create a database of citations or references to resources (books, journal articles, web sites, etc.). It facilitates the insertion of citations within a research paper as in-text references, footnotes, or endnotes, and the creation of a formatted bibliography using a citation style of choice. All major citation styles are supported (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.).

Who can use Refworks?

York University Libraries have purchased a campus-wide license for RefWorks. Any current York student, staff or faculty member can access and use this software without individual charge.

Creating a RefWorks Account

To use RefWorks you must first create an account. To create an account:

  1. Note the group code.
  2. Sign up for an Individual Account.
  3. Fill out the form provided. You will receive an email with the Log-in Name and Password you created.
  4. Use your Log-in Name and Password to log in to RefWorks.

Can I use RefWorks when I am not on campus?

RefWorks is available to users wherever there is internet access. Off-campus RefWorks users may be asked for the York University group code. The group code is available here (Passport York login required).

Using Refworks and Write-N-Cite

Do I need to download software?

Use of RefWorks requires no software to be downloaded. You only require a compatible browser and an Internet connection. To automatically insert citations into an MS Word document, you need to download a small utility called Write-N-Cite. To install Write-N-Cite, log in to RefWorks and follow the instructions under “Write-N-Cite” on the Tools menu. Make note of the available information about using Write-N-Cite and related compatibility issues. Please note that Write-N-Cite is available on all library computers where the MS Office Suite is installed. Write-N-Cite 2.5 is not currently supported by OS X Lion, but there is a workaround. Scholars Portal has also posted solutions with some screen shots.  Also, Write-N-Cite 4 is now available.

How do I use RefWorks and Write-N-Cite?

We have RefWorks drop-in workshops throughout the year.

There are several online tutorials and guides available for RefWorks:

  • RefWorks 2.0 Library Guide.This guide was developed for Ontario university students by Scholars Portal, a services of the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL).
  • RefWorks’ Quick Start Guide provides access to written instructions on using RefWorks and an online tutorial.
  • RefWorks Tutorial provides both an English and French tutorial on the basics of using RefWorks.
  • Online Help provides assistance on almost all issues related to the use of RefWorks.
  • RefWorks FAQ provides answers to some common questions about using RefWorks at York.
  • RefWorks 2.0 web tutorial introduces the new user interface.
  • RefWorks 2.0 Fundamentals is a collection of tutorials in PDF and streaming video formats.
  • The RefWorks 2.0 Fact Sheet and Poster are marketing materials that describe the benefits of the new interface.
  • Webinars are also available for both the classic and 2.0 interfaces.

How do I import/export from RefWorks?

It is possible to use RefWorks to search and directly import citation information from a number of web-based catalogues and other publicly available databases. In addition, many of York University Libraries’ online databases and indexes support the exporting of data to RefWorks. For more information on importing citations from specific databases, look at the RefWorks Library Guide (“Working with references” tab –> Importing references) and Additional databases.

Can I share my references with someone else?

RefShare is an add-on module for RefWorks that York University Libraries have licensed. It allows any RefWorks user to share a folder of references/citations or an entire database. Shared references/citations are stored on a newly-created web page and any individual can access this page if they have been given its URL. Further information is available on the “Other Features–>RefShare” tab in the
RefWorks guide.

RefWorks/RefShare users also have the option of placing a link to shared folders on the York University Libraries’ Shared Area Page. For access to this added feature, please contact RefWorks Help.

Getting Help

Upcoming RefWorks Workshops are listed on the Library Workshops page.


There are a few other ways for you to get help with your RefWorks account: