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Switching Citation Managers

This guide will outline how to switch to a new citation manager like RefWorks, Endnote, Zotero, or Mendeley

Overview

RefWorks is designed to only store citations. You can attach PDFs to citations, but that process isn't easy. After using RefWorks for some time, you may want to switch to a citation manager that is better at storing PDFs, keeping track of notes, and easily integrating annotations of PDFs with the citations.

On this page, we will outline the steps that you need to go through in order to transfer your RefWorks library to another citation manager.

Exporting your citations from RefWorks

To export your citations from RefWorks, you need to follow these steps. But also keep in mind different citation managers prefer different output formats from RefWorks. Keep in mind this will export all of your references without the folders that are present in your RefWorks account. If you would like to preserve the folder structure then please click this link to see our next box that has steps on doing this.

Consult this table to see which you should choose:

New citation managerOutput format
EndnoteBibliographic Software (EndNote,Reference Manager, Procite)
Zotero Bibliographic Software (EndNote,Reference Manager, Procite)
Mendeley BibTeX - RefWorks ID
  1. Log into your RefWorks account
  2. Now click on the References button in the top left side of your account and select the Export option. Like so:
    Beginning to export RefWorks references by clicking on References in the menu and then Export
  3. Now you need to select the output option that matches the manager that you are moving into. See the table at the top of this box for the ideal output format for you. Do note that you need to specify whether you want to export only selected references, all the references in the page, or all in the list. Be sure to select the right option for you.
  4. RefWorks will build a list of your citations. A new window may open with all the references or a window that prompts you to download a file. If the download window pops up, disregard this step. You may have to right click on the link will allow you to download the file. You can do so in the bottom right corner of your RefWorks account. Like so:
    Saving your exported citations from RefWorks to import into another reference manager

Now you have your references ready to import into the new citation manager!

Exporting your citations from RefWorks with folder structure

When you're exporting from RefWorks, you may want to preserve your folder structure rather than dumping all your references into one long list. The previous steps outline how to get all your references out of RefWorks without folder structure, but if you want to preserve your folder structure there is an alternative way of semi-quickly exporting from RefWorks.

Consult this table to see which you should choose:

New citation managerOutput format
EndnoteBibliographic Software (EndNote,Reference Manager, Procite)
Zotero Bibliographic Software (EndNote,Reference Manager, Procite)
Mendeley BibTeX - RefWorks ID
  1. Log into your RefWorks account
  2. Now click on the Organize & Share Folders button in the right side of your main references screen. Like so:
    Clicking on Organize and Share Folders in your RefWorks screen to be able to export references by folder
  3. In this pane you will see a listing of your folders and if you click on the left folder icon for each individual folder, you will be able to export your references from that individual folder. Like so:
    Clicking on the left folder inside of Organize and Share Folders in RefWorks to be able to export references by folder
  4. Now you need to select the output option that matches the manager that you are moving into. See the table at the top of this box for the ideal output format for you. Be sure to select the right option for you.
    Selecting the export format from the Organize and Share Folder pane in RefWorks
  5. RefWorks will build a list of your citations. A new window may open with all the references or a window that prompts you to download a file. If the download window pops up, disregard this step. You may have to right click on the link will allow you to download the file. You can do so in the bottom right corner of your RefWorks account. Like so:
    Saving your exported citations from RefWorks to import into another reference manager
  6. Now repeat these steps for each folder you have. You may want to rename the files you're exporting to the folder names so you can keep them organized when you import them into your new citation management program.

Now you have your references ready to import into the new citation manager!

Importing your citations into Endnote

  1. Open Endnote and click on File then Import and then File. Like so:
    Selecting File then Import then File in Endnote to import citations from RefWorks
  2. Now browse for the file that you exported from RefWorks and be sure to select the Reference Manager (RIS) Import option and then select Import.
    Selecting Reference Manager (RIS) import option in Endnote to import your references from RefWorks
  3. Now your RefWorks references will be imported into your Endnote Library.

Importing your citations into Mendeley

  1. Open Mendeley and select File then Import then select the BibTeX (*.bib) option.
    Selecting File then Import then BibTeX to import your RefWorks citations into Mendeley
  2. You do need to be sure to select the Text (*.txt) option to the right to make sure that you can view the text file that RefWorks exported.
  3. Now your RefWorks references will be imported into your Endnote Library.

Importing your citations into Zotero

  1. Open Zotero and click on the Gear icon and select Import. Like so:
    Selecting the Gear Icon then Import to import references from Mendeley into Zotero
  2. Select the file that you exported from RefWorks and click open.