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RefWorks: Creating Bibliographies

RefWorks is a web-based bibliographic management program.

Citing in MS Word and Google Docs

RefWorks is compatible with several word processors.

  • MS Word users should download and install the Write-N-Cite tool.
  • Google Docs users should get the ProQuest RefWorks Add-on.

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Library FAQs

RefWorks Write-N-Cite 4

RefWorks has released a new version of Write-N-Cite.  Write-N-Cite 4 is avaialable for Windows and Macs. The Write-N-Cite installer can be downloaded from the Tools menu in RefWorks. Learn more about the new Write-N-Cite.

Keep in mind that the new Write-N-Cite is very different from the older versions. It is a desktop software program, which means your RefWorks library will be downloaded to your computer. If you have a large RefWorks library you might notice delays when opening your Word program.  It could take a while for Refworks to synchronize a large library between your computer RefWorks.

Follow these easy steps to download, install, and configure Write-N-Cite 4

  1. Log on to your RefWorks account.
  2. Click Tools > Write-N-Cite
  3. From the Write-N-Cite popup window, copy the Write-N-Cite Login Code. (Looks something like this: 455b734054734257655f546f421422241725011d28322e1e1c30223f091007322).
  4. From the same window, download Write-N-Cite for Word
  5. Double click WnC4Install file to install the Write-N-Cite plugin for Word.  Make sure all of your Microsoft Office programs are closed when you do this.
  6. Open Word.
  7. Click on the RefWorks tab.
  8. Click Log In.
  9. Paste the Login Code into the Login Code Box and click Login.

You will not need a RefWorks Group Code.


Creating Bibliographies

RefWorks comes with over 1,000 Output Styles. There are three ways to create formatted bibliographies.

  1. Upload a document to RefWorks in DOC, DOCX, RTF, or TXT format.
  2. Use RefWorks' Write-N-Cite tool with MS Word for Windows and Macs.
  3. Use the ProQuest RefWorks Add-on with Google Docs.

Bibliography - upload a Document to Format

As you type your paper, insert references from RefWorks

  1. Set RefWorks to display the One line/Cite view
  2. As you type your paper, select the appropriate reference from RefWorks.
  3. Click Cite
  4. Select the citation from the Citation Viewer window.  Copy it.
  5. Paste it into your document.
  6. Repeat the process until you have inserted all of your citations.
  7. Save the document.

In RefWorks, go to Bibliography

  1. Select Format Paper and Bibliography.
  2. Select an Output Style
  3. Browse to locate your document.
  4. Make sure your browser is set to allow popups from
  5. RefWorks creates a new copy of your document with formatted in-text citations and a bibliography.
  6. Keep the original, unformatted document for future editing

Document formats supported:

  • Word for Windows 2000 or later
  • Word for Mac 98 or later
  • Writer (.odt)
  • HTML
  • Rich Text Format (RTF)
  • Text


Format bibliographies with different styles.  Go to Bibliography > Output Style

10 Tips for Avoiding Accidental Plagiarism

  1. Keep all of your references in one RefWorks databse.  It will be easier to find them when you need them.
  2. Add references as soon as you come across them.  Don't wait until you are starting to write.
  3. Check for duplicates early & often. 
  4. Make sure your references are up to date.  Check to see if epubs or in-process citations have been published.
  5. Attach PDFs to references already in your Library.  
  6. Annotate PDFs.  Many programs (Preview for Macs and Adobe Acrobat Pro) will let you highlight text and add notes. 
    6.5. Annotate references in you Library, using the Notes, or User-Defined fields.
  7. File references into Folders.  References can belong to more than one Folders.  It might be helpful to create a separate Folder for each section of your manuscript.
  8. Insert citations as you write.  Make it easier to see who you are citing by using an Author/Date style or unformatted citatations while you write. Change to department- or journal-specified style when you are finished writing.
  9. Use your word processor's Comments feature as reminders of passages that must be cited.
  10. Make sure the references you cite are correct!