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Citation Management for Academic Research: RefWorks

This guide juxtaposes the affordances and constraints of popular citation management systems Mendeley, EndNote, RefWorks, and Zotero.


Primary User Base

Refworks is a reference manager used by researchers, graduate students, undergraduate students, librarians, and teaching faculty in academia, hospitals, government agencies, and corporations. 

Upload and Annotate

Most major databases, including Google Scholar, have an option to export to Refworks which makes uploading articles and other items quick and easy. Online resources such as magazines, newspapers, and blogs may not have this same export feature, but Refworks provides a tool called “Save to Refworks” that can be added to the bookmarks bar and used to easily save web based resources. Refworks can also import files in hundreds of formats including RIS, BibTeX, and PubMed. Once a file is uploaded into RefWorks, users can add tags, notes, or attachments like PDFs to the item. Users have the option to highlight and make comments directly onto uploaded PDFs. 

Word Processor Integration

Refworks is great for writing research papers, because it offers an add-on in Microsoft Word and Google Docs that allows for quick and easy citing while writing. 

Installation Required

Refworks does not require any downloads or installations and works with Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer browsers. Creating an account is easy, but make sure to use ProQuest Refworks 3.0, the newest version. Additionally, you must create the account through BYU's library here.

Collaboration Features

Users can store articles in folders that can be shared among peers and colleagues. Users can also share annotated PDFs and notes. 

Price to Students

Refworks is free for anyone with a BYU account! Otherwise, Refworks is $100 USD annually.

Access After Graduation?

Users who create an account with their personal email will have access to Refworks after graduation. 

What is RefWorks?