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RefWorks Transition Guide

Transition Overview

This page will guide you through the steps to export your citations from RefWorks and import them into another citation manager.

  1. Use the table below to determine which version of RefWorks you're using.
  2. Select a different citation manager that you would like to use and create an account. Zotero, Mendeley, and EndNote are common alternatives to RefWorks. Zotero, Mendeley and Endnote Basic are free, and EndNote is also available as a paid, premium version.
  3. Follow the steps outlined in this guide to export your citations from RefWorks.
  4. Import them to your chosen citation manager.
  5. Need some help? Please contact us via phone, email, or chat. Use the "Find your librarian" link to set up a Zoom meeting, if that would be useful. We will troubleshoot the process and assist you with your new citation manager.

Determine the Version You're Using

The instructions for exporting your citations are dependent on which version you are currently using. This table will help you identify your software version.  Identifying characteristics of the two versions of RefWorks


Version ProQuest RefWorks Legacy RefWorks

New RefWorks

RefWorks 3

Old RefWorks

RefWorks 2

Logos RefWorks 3 logo RefWorks 2 logo
Start here RefWorks (Blue) Export Step-by-Step Legacy RefWorks Export Step-by-Step


After March 31, 2021 you cannot continue to work on existing documents using RefWorks' Write-n-Cite.

You do not need to change your in-text citations if you are actively working on a deadline for a paper, grant, dissertation, or thesis which you will complete before March 31, 2021

However, if this is not the case, Zotero, Mendeley, and EndNote have Microsoft Office Add-ins similar to Write-n-Cite.

Steps to take when you switch from RefWorks Write-n-Cite to another citation manager's Microsoft Office Add-in:

  1. Save your document.
  2. Create a duplicate copy.
  3. Remove the Write-n-Cite field codes from your copy.
  4. Replace each citation using your new citation manager's Microsoft Office Add-in. To keep track of where you are in the document, leave both citations (from RefWorks and from your new citation manager) until you have completed the document.
  5. When you have added all the citations with your new citation manager, use Ctrl+F to search for )( to find each pair of identical citations and delete the RefWorks citation from each pair.