RefWorks Guide

Getting Started

  • RefWorks is web-based bibliographic software that enables you to export citations from catalogs and databases, store them, and cite them easily in papers.  RefWorks is listed in CLIO; you can do a Keyword or a Title search to find it.
  • To set up an account on RefWorks, go to the RefWorks at Columbia page here or via CLIO.  Enter your UNI and password. Click on "Connect to RefWorks Here" and then "Sign up for an Individual Account."
  • To log in after you've set up your account, go to RefWorks at Columbia to login.
  • The tutorial provided in RefWorks (in the Help menu) gives a good overview of the program's features, such as how to import references and how to cite them in papers and bibliographies.
  • EndNote, RefWorks, and Zotero at Columbia is a Columbia Libraries guide to bibliographic software.
  • Contact Lois Coleman for more help at, (212-854-9095) or the Electronic Text Service, located in 305 Butler Library,, (212-854-7547).

Entering References into RefWorks

  • To enter a new reference manually, click on References - Add New Reference in the upper left.
  • Choose the Citation Style you are most likely to use (MLA, Chicago, APA, etc.), from the dropdown list (next to View fields used by:). 
  • Select the Ref Type (e.g. Book, Section; Book, Whole; Journal; Journal, Electronic; Newspaper Article). This determines the fields offered.
  • Select the Source Type (Print or Electronic).
  • The most important information to enter accurately is the information that is required by the citation style you wish to use when you cite your references. The green checkmarks indicate which fields are used by the citation style you have selected.  The fields are explained at the bottom of the page.
  • Remember that RefWorks can only format your citations correctly if the information has been input correctly.  It is important to check each field after entering or importing references.
  • Specify a folder if you wish, and click on "Save Reference."  If you don't specify a folder, the reference will be added to a list called "References Not in a Folder." 
  • To print out a list of references as a bibliography, go to Bibliography - Create Bibliography.

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