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Citation Tools

Quick guide to online citation organization tools, including RefWorks & Zotero.

What Is RefWorks?

RefWorks is a cloud-based tool for managing citations and creating bibliographies. Through a subscription, the GW Libraries makes RefWorks available to all current students, faculty, and staff at the university. And as a GW alum, your RefWorks account follows you when you leave GW, for free, for as long as the University continues to subscribe to RefWorks. See this guide for more information, and view helpful videos on the RefWorks YouTube channel.

Versions: RefWorks 3.0, also called New RefWorks, is the current version. If you already have an account on the old "legacy" RefWorks v.2, you can keep it for now. See below for information on Legacy RefWorks. The final retirement date for Legacy RefWorks has not yet been announced. You can still try out the new version, and even import your references from the old version into the new one, without closing your old account. 

RefWorks lets you

  • Import citations from the catalog and databases
  • Store and organize citations
  • Add research notes
  • Format in-text citations
  • Create bibliographies in different citation styles

RefWorks is great for

  • Working on collaborative bibliographies/research projects
  • Organizing content in a variety of ways
  • Storing thousands of citations in the cloud

See how RefWorks compares

Here is a comparison chart of how RefWorks stacks up against other citation management software.

Using Legacy RefWorks v.2

RefWorks v.2, also called Legacy RefWorks, is still available. To access it, use this link: . (Bookmark this link in your browser for quick access.)

As of Fall 2018, it is still possible to create a new account on Legacy RefWorks. Remember that the Legacy version will be retired at some point! To create a new account on Legacy RefWorks, you will have to enter our Group Code: RWGWUMC.

Alumni should access RefWorks through the link on our E-Resources for Alumni page.

NOTE: We recommend that all Legacy RefWorks users back up their citation libraries, in case we do not get much advance warning when the Legacy version is someday taken offline. Use the Export command to back up your citations.

Tutorials and guides for Legacy RefWorks:

Moving from RefWorks v.2 to RefWorks v.3

Important Note: If you have already started writing a paper using the Write-n-Cite plugin for RefWorks v.2, you should NOT try to finish it using the plugin for v.3. This may cause formatting errors. 

There are two main ways to upgrade your citation library from Legacy RefWorks v.2 to New RefWorks v.3. 

  • If you don't have a v.3 account yet, log into your v.2 account and click the link that says "Move to the latest version of RefWorks" at the top of the screen. This will lead you through creating a v.3 account and importing your citations to the new account.
  • If you already have a v.3 account, log into your v.2 account and export your citations using the References - Export menu item, choosing the RefWorks tagged format. Then log into your v.3 account and use the Import References command under the "+" menu.

If you want, you can continue using v.2 this year, or even use both v.2 and v.3. The final retirement date for Legacy RefWorks v.2 has not yet been announced. If you keep using both, note that your citation libraries on each version are entirely separate -- they will NOT be synchronized automatically. 

RefWorks: Mobile Version

Gather, manage, store and share your citations, while on the go: RefMobile is a version of Legacy RefWorks specially designed for mobile devices. (If you use New RefWorks, it is already compatible with both desktop computers and mobile devices.)

The first time you log in, you'll need the GW Group Code: RWGWUMC

HELP: Working with RefMobile

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