RefWorks: Using RefWorks with Google Docs

UNC Libraries’ subscription to RefWorks will end August 31, 2017.

Getting Started Using Refworks with Google Docs

While Refworks does not currently have a Write-n-Cite plugin for Google Docs, you can still use Refworks to insert properly formatted citations and bibliographies. To begin you will need to have both Refworks and your Google Doc open. While it isn't necessary, you may find it easier to change your Refworks view to "One line/Cite view."



Once you are ready to insert a citation, click on the curly brackets to the right of your corresponding citation. This will open the Citation Viewer window.

From there, simply highlight and copy, then paste the citation into your Google Doc. If you need to incorporate more than one source into your citation, you will have to open the Citation Viewer for your first citation,  click 'select', then close the viewer. Open your next citation and you will see a new, joint citation. Repeat as necessary. Note: do not format the citation in your Google Doc, Refworks will use this formatting to create your bibliography.

Letting Refworks Format Citations and Create Your Bibliography

When you are done inserting citations and are ready to let Refworks create your bibliography, highlight 'download as' from the File menu in your Google Docs tab. Then select 'Rich Text Format (.rtf)'. Complete the saving process then go to your Refworks account. 

When in Refworks, highlight the 'Bibliography' button near the top of your screen. Select 'Format Document' from the drop-down menu. 

This will open a dialog box where you will perform two tasks.. First, prior to uploading your .rtf file, you should choose an output style, which the formatting standard that will be used for your citations and bibliography. Then click select a file and find the document on your computer and upload it to Refworks. 

Upon uploading the file, Refworks will create a new document. This document will share the same name of your original document with one exception - the word "final" will precede the previous title. Refworks will give you the option to change the document's name and the location where it will be saved. If you accept the default settings from Refworks, you should be able to find the final file in the same folder as the .rtf file you uploaded just a moment ago.

Opening Your New File - Bibliography and All

Now that Refworks has outputted a 'final' version of your document, go back to Google Docs. From the File menu in your Google Docs window, select Open. This should open a new dialog box.

Select the 'upload' option to the left, or click the 'Select a file from your computer' button in the middle of the dialog box.

There You Have It

After following the above steps you should have something that looks like this:

It may not be as simple as using Write-n-Cite for Word, but this is a great alternative. And it works with Chromebooks! You might even have luck with your favorite tablet.

Support Research, Teaching, & Learning - Give to the HSL