RefWorks: PubMed

RefWorks is a citation manager that is free for UNC students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Find out how to start using RefWorks to cite your papers and projects.

Step 1: Download Your References from PubMed

  1. Perform a search in PubMed
  2. Check the boxes next to articles you want to download.  Use the PubMed Clipboard to select article records from multiple searches.
  3. Click the "Send to" link.
  4. Select Citation Manager under Choose Destination
  5. Click the Create File button.
  6. Save the file, citations.nbib, to your computer.

PubMed "Send To" Screen

Step 2: Importing into RefWorks

  1. Login to your RefWorks database.
  2. Mouse over the References menu and select Import.

RefWorks Import Selection

  1. The Import Reference screen will appear.
  2. Select NLM PubMed from the Import Filter/Data Source drop-down list.
  3. Browse to find the text file from PubMed that you saved to your computer.
  4. Select one of your folders if you wish. All newly imported references are automatically placed in the Last Imported folder.
  5. Click on Import.

RefWorks Import Screen

Review your Last Imported Folder in RefWorks

After you import references to RefWorks, it is always important to check your Last Imported folder in RefWorks to make sure the imported reference looks proper.

The Last Imported folder is on the right side of your RefWorks account. Like this:
The last imported folder in your RefWorks account

Errors that may occur can include:

  1. All letters capitalized
  2. Improper titles

As you can see from the examples above, they may require significant editing to make sure that they accurately represent the reference. This step is important so you can:

  1. Find the reference again later in case you want to read it
  2. Avoid having to edit the reference later when citing it in a manuscript

I'm having problems downloading citations from databases into RefWorks. Help!

  1. Be sure to be logged into your RefWorks account before attempting to export citations from databases. Logging in beforehand will ensure you do not have to duplicate steps
  2. Your browser. Safari is often the culprit.  It is recommended that you use Firefox as your primary browser for all things RefWorks-related.  If you don't currently have Firefox installed on your computer, you can download it for free by clicking here. Try repeating these tasks in Firefox and see if this solves the problem.
  3. Pop-Ups. Many databases pop-open a new window to directly export the citation(s) to RefWorks, you may need to enable pop-ups.
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