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Making citing sources and creating a bibliography/reference list easy

With RefWorks you make your own online literature catalogue. One can import titles from catalogues, databases, and Google Scholar, or one can add them manually. The titles can be organised in folders and used for citing sources in any preferred style in Word documents. All UvA students and staff can use RefWorks.


Choosing a citation manager

Next to RefWorks, Mendeley and Zotero are available as citation managers. See the overview of pros and cons for each of these tools.


A concise manual is available.

RefWorks consists of two components: a website and a tab in Word. First make an account on the website and then install the tab in Word.

Getting started with RefWorks

  1. Create an account with RefWorks.
    Make sure you are within the UvA domain, so either at an UvA workstation or at home connected to the UvA network with the VPN. Open the RefWorks sign-in page. Click on ‘sign up for a new account’ and fill in the required personal details. You are free to choose the email address and the other login details but do not use your UvAnetID for either of these. You will receive a confirmation email from RefWorks with your login details. Your account will remain active as long as the UvA has a licence for RefWorks.
  2. Install the Word plug-in: Write-N-Cite
    Important: Close Word before you start installing the plug-in and if a previous version of the plug-in installed then please remove it. Open your RefWorks account and in the menu bar click on Tools. Choose Write-N-Cite, the plug-in for Word.
    Download the bit-version of Write-N-Cite that matches the bit-version of your Word; even a 64-bit computer usually requires a 32-bit version. You can find the bit-version of your Word in Word in the tab File > Help.
    After installing Write-N-Cite the tab for RefWorks should appear in Word. If the RefWorks tab does not appear in Word go to File > Options > Add-ins. Open COM add-ins and select Write-N-Cite 4, and confirm with OK. If the RefWorks tab still does not appear please contact Noor Breuning or Andreja Lekic.
    The RefWorks plug-in is not compatable with:
    - Word 2016 on Mac, an alternative is Mendeley.
    - the online version of Word 365. The plug-in does work with the desktop version of Word 365. Install the desktop version and install the plug-in.
  3. To connect to RefWorks, log in to Word with the details of your RefWorks account.

Organising References

  • Importing references. Titles found in UvA Catalogue, CataloguePlus, databases and Google Scholar can be directly imported and saved in RefWorks. For all the tips read Export instructions.
  • Organising references. If you frequently import titles it is advisable to organise them in folders. Make folders by clicking on New Folder and drag the titles from Not in Folder to the new (sub) folders on the right-hand side. 
  • Sharing references. By sharing a folder (click the folder with the right-hand mouse button > sharing) you create a link to the content of your folder. With this link the references in the folder are read-only accessible, also outside of RefWorks. If you want to work together with others then create a new joint RefWorks account with equal administrative rights for all participants.

New RefWorks

There is a new version of RefWorks called New RefWorks. The RefWorks version that the UvA uses is the classic or Legacy version. New RefWorks is still in development and not all functions are yet available. It is therefore that, for the time being, UvA computers use the Legacy version of Write-N-Cite.

If you want to try New RefWorks on your own laptop then consider the following:

  • For New RefWorks one needs a separate account, even if you already have a Legacy account.
  • With the New RefWorks plug-in you have the choice to log into your Legacy account or your New RefWorks account. However, the document that you subsequently create will only be available in the account you chose to make it in.
  • Do not try to open a document with references from your Legacy account in a New RefWorks account since this can irreparably damage the references.

For a New RefWorks account you do not need to be within the UvA domain, but you do need an UvA email address. If you do not have an UvA email address and do study at the UvA, please contact Noor Breuning or Andreja Lekic for support.

  1. Go to New RefWorks and choose Create Account.
  2. Fill in your UvA email address (you can change this later), click on Check and fill in the required personal details.
  3. You will receive a confirmation email from RefWorks with your login details. Your account will remain active as long as the UvA has a licence for RefWorks.

More information