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RefWorks: Google Scholar

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.

Direct Export Your References from Google Scholar

  1. Go to Google Scholar. We recommend you use Google Scholar from a library page when you are off-campus so that you can link to full-text journal articles. You can get to the Google Scholar home page from search result pages by clicking on the Google logo.
  2. Click on the Gear-shaped Settings icon in the upper right hand corner of the screen.Google Scholar Settings
  3. Then, scroll down to the section named Bibliography manager and select Show links to import citations into RefWorks (choose RefWorks from the dropdown menu).Select Import to RefWorks
  4. Click Save Preferences.
  5. Now when you search you can click Import into RefWorks under one of the citations you want to save to your library.Click "Import to Refworks" to import a citation.
  6. The RefWorks Import Reference screen will appear in a new window or tab. Add the reference to a folder or edit as necessary and click the Save Reference button.

Using RefGrab-It to import from Google Scholar

If you want to add references from Google Scholar, then you can follow the steps detailed in our Google Scholar section of Adding References by clicking on this link. But this method works best if you are only importing a few references since you have to click Import to RefWorks for each reference. If you would like to import more than a couple references from Google Scholar, then you may want to use RefGrab-It to make the process a bit easier. For more information on RefGrab-It, be sure to check out our RefGrab-It section of Adding References by clicking on this link.

To use RefGrab-It to import references from Google Scholar, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure you are already logged into your RefWorks account.
  2. Click on the RefGrab-It bookmarklet when you're at the Google Scholar search you want to add references from.
  3. Select the references that you want to add to your RefWorks account and click Import to RefWorks.
  4. This process may take a bit of time, so you may have to wait for a few minutes while RefGrab-It determines what citation information is present on Google Scholar.
  5. Now go your RefWorks account and review the imported references to make sure they look proper.
  6. This is demonstrated below:
    Using RefGrab-It to import references from Google Scholar

As you may notice from the example. References added from Google Scholar are imperfect at best, so you need to be sure to look in your Last Imported folder in your RefWorks account to review the references and make any edits if necessary.

Using Google Scholar's My Library Feature

Like the other databases, Google Scholar offers a folder where you can store references which you can use to make the process of adding them to your RefWorks account easier. You can use the My library feature if you're using either the direct export or RefGrab-It methods detailed above.

  1. To use this feature, you have to have a Google account.
  2. When you've found an article that you want to save, click on the save button beneath the entry. It is highlighted below
    Using the My Library feature in Google Scholar to save references
  3. Once you have the item(s) saved, you can click on the My library link on the left side on your screen to see the references that you've saved. You can add them to your RefWorks library by using the methods outlined above.
  4. If you want to remove references from your Google Scholar library, you need to click on the title of the references. Like so:
    Removing a reference from your Google Scholar Library by clicking on the article's title
  5. Now you can click Delete to remove the reference from your Google Scholar library. Like so:
    Removing a reference from your Google Scholar library by clicking on the delete button in the reference's entry after clicking on the title

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.