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RefWorks: Home

This guide provides information and tutorials on using RefWorks, a web-based software for managing citations, creating bibliographies and incorporating citations as you write within Microsoft Word.

Access Restrictions

All faculty, staff and currently enrolled students may access.

Alumni or visitors: on campus only.

What is a citation?

A citation or reference is the information used to describe an article and is what you use to create a bibliography, reference list or works cited list when writing a paper.

RefWorks is a database you create of these citations that often include links to the full text article.

RefWorks Help and Tutorials


RefWorks is an online tool for managing, organizing, and sharing citations. It allows you to generate reference lists and bibliographies and can incorporate citations as you write within Microsoft Word.

GGU's Refworks subscription will be discontinued as of January 1, 2019.

RefWorks Quickstart Guide

Getting started

  1. Login by clicking on the RefWorks link above or from the Databases A to Z list. If you are not at the main GGU campus, you will be prompted for your GGU4You login OR your family name and student ID number.
  2. Click on the Sign Up for an Individual Account link
  3. Enter the requested information including a login name and password, then click on Register.
  4. The group code, which is included in the email confirming your registration, will allow you to access your RefWorks account from off-campus. If you do not have the Group Code and have a Refworks account, please contact the Business Library Reference Desk at 415-442-7244.

Using RefWorks

  1. Organize your citations by creating folders. Click on New Folder in the upper left corner of the screen, and name your folder.
  2. Minimize your RefWorks window and begin searching in the GGU Library databases.

There are several ways to import citations into RefWorks:

  1. Direct Export: This function allows you to directly export citations from several of our databases including Business Source Complete, EBook Central (via Proquest), CQ Researcher, ProQuest, and others.  In the databases, you will select the option to directly export your citation - keep an eye out for "RefWorks" or its logo. A RefWorks window will pop up and show the result of the import.
  2. Save Citations as a Text File (.txt) and import into RefWorks: After you save the text file of the citation from a database and select and copy the text. Select Import from the References menu in RefWorks and paste the text into the text box under the selection Import Data from the following Text. Select the database the citation came from in the Import Filter/Data Source drop down menu. Then click Import.
  3. Copy and Paste: Select the Add New Reference under the References menu to manually type or copy and paste citation information into each field of the reference.
  4. For ProQuest databases, you can automatically sync citations with RefWorks.  First, you must create a "My Research" account in ProQuest.  While doing that, ProQuest will ask if you want to link your ProQuest and RefWorks accounts.  Once you do that, anything you save to "My Research" in ProQuest will appear in your RefWorks account.

Editing and Viewing Citations

  1. For newly imported citations, select View, then Folder, then Last Imported.
  2. Click View or Edit to the right of the citation you wish to view or edit.
  3. Add information such as Retrieved Date and Database to your citation. Notes, descriptors (subjects), and other information can be added at this time, as well.
  4. Click Tools then click Customize to select a default output style. For instance, if you are required to use APA style, then you can view all of the references in your database in APA format - just select it from the drop down menu Output Styles Choices for Reference View.

Organizing your Citations

  1. Folders are the best way to organize articles. You can name your folders after classes, projects, subjects, or team members. Select Folder from the View menu to see citations in a particular folder.
  2. Now you can move selected citations, all citations on the page, or all citations into the desired folder. Select citations by clicking on the box to the left of the citation.
  3. Select the folder you want to put the citations in from the Put in Folder menu and Click OK to confirm.

Creating Bibliographies

  1. Click on the Bibliography menu and select the appropriate output style (i.e. APA or MLA).
  2. Click the button the left of Format a Bibliography from a List of References and select the type of format you'd like your bibliography in the File Type to Create menu, such as Microsoft Word.
  3. Select which references you'd like in the bibliography - it can be a whole folder, or a selection of references - and the click Create Bibliography.
  4. A new file (e.g. Word document) will be created with a bibliography of the references you selected. If you have a pop-up blocker on, then click Download It. This file will be named your login plus reflist (e.g. asmithReflist.doc).
  5. Carefully check the citations in your bibliography! RefWorks does a lot of great things, but you still have to check and edit the citations to make sure they are correct. Make sure electronic resources are cited as such.

Advanced Features

  1. Write-n-cite is a tool that you can download to assist you in citing in-text as well as creating a bibliography as you write.
  2. RefShare is a tool to allow you to share folders with colleagues. From the Folders menu, select Share Folders. Then select the folder you wish to share and email the folder URL (web address) to teammates.

Tools and Tips

  1. RefWorks has a very useful help menu, which can be found under Help and by selecting Help from the drop-down list. This is particularly helpful for finding out how to export references from specific databases (found under Getting References Into Your Account).
  2. Tutorials are also available for quick reference and can be found under Help and by selecting Tutorials. The tutorials are organized by function in RefWorks.
  3. Any edits, deletions, naming, or transferring of references will result in a small pop-up window asking if you are sure - this helps to ensure that you are certain you want to make any change, and guards against making permanent mistakes.

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