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The Ohio State University

Health Sciences Library

Citation Management Tools

Always double check your citations for accuracy and completeness after importing them!


There are several different ways to add citations to RefWorks:

Importing from Files

Some databases, such as PubMed and the OSU Catalog, will have you export your references to a file, which can then be imported into RefWorks. See the Exporting Citations from Databases and Catalogs section of this guide for more information on how to create a citation file.

To import citation files into RefWorks:

  • Once logged in to RefWorks, open the Project that you wish to import your citations into.
  • Click "Add" (the plus sign icon).
  • Select "Import References".
  • Click "select a file from your computer", or drag and drop the file from a folder on your computer.
  • RefWorks should automatically detect the file format. If it does not, search for the correct format, then click "Import".
  • The citations will automatically be added to your "Last Imported" folder.

Exporting Directly from Databases

Some databases, including Scopus, CINAHL, and Embase, give you the option of exporting citations directly into RefWorks, allowing you to skip the above step. See the Exporting Citations from Databases and Catalogs section of this guide for more information on exporting references from databases.

Using the "Save to RefWorks" Bookmarklet

"Save to Refworks" is a tool that can be added to your browser's favorites bar to provide a shortcut for importing citations from the web.

To install the "Save to RefWorks" bookmarklet:

  • Make sure that your favorites bar is visible at the top of your browser window.
  • Once logged in to your RefWorks account, cllick the "Tools" icon.
  • Select "Tools".
  • "Save to Refworks" is the first tool listed. Click "Install Save to RefWorks".
  • Click and drag the "Save to RefWorks" icon into your favorites bar.

Using "Save to RefWorks":

  • You can use "Save to RefWorks" to capture citation information from a variety sources, though it may not work for every webpage.
  • You can capture individual citations (e.g. from an item record in the Library Catalog) or whole groups of citations (e.g. from the search results page of a PubMed search).
  • Begin by logging in to your RefWorks account.
  • Navigate to the page with the records you wish to capture.
  • Click on the "Save to RefWorks" bookmarklet in your browser's favorites bar.
  • The tool will open in your window as a sidebar, with any citations identified on the webpage listed.
  • Click "Save to RefWorks".
  • RefWorks will give you an opportunity to select which project you would like to import the citations into.

Below is an example of how Save to RefWorks "grabs" the citation information from a book in the OSU Catalog:

Dragging and Dropping Files From Your Computer

If you have articles saved to your computer in PDF or Word formats, you can drag and drop the files directly into RefWorks. RefWorks will extract the citation information and attach the file, which you can then read, search, annotate, and share with colleagues within RefWorks.

To drag and drop files:

  • Once logged in to RefWorks, open the folder to which you would like to add citations.
  • Open the folder on your computer or storage device containing the articles that you would like to add.
  • Select one or more files. Drag and drop them into the RefWorks window.
  • The article will be attached to the citation. You can open it by clicking on the citation and selecting "Read".

"Search Databases" Tool

You may notice a "Search Databases" tool in RefWorks. It is a way to search databases and catalogs directly from the RefWorks interface, however this is a very limited function. We recommend that you perform your searches directly in the databases for the most complete and accurate results.