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RefWorks User Guide: Refworks Migration Before July 2022

Refworks Migration before July 2022

The Library will be ending its subscription to Refworks on July 1, 2022. We will continue to support faculty, staff, and student use of Zotero, a free, third-party program from the Corporation for Digital Scholarship, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the development of software and services for researchers and cultural heritage institutions.

Switching from Refworks to Zotero is usually quick and easy, depending how many references you're transferring. See below for instructions on how to transfer from New Refworks. If you're having trouble, or if you still use Legacy Refworks and need help transferring from it, use the "Ask a Librarian" link to the left to chat with us or make an appointment for help.

(Content on this page was adapted from Treadwell Virtual Library's Refworks migration guide with permission.)

Exporting from New Refworks, With Folders

If you want to maintain the same folder structure in your new reference manager, you should export your citations from RefWorks one folder at a time.

It's recommended that you save each export file created below with the name of the folder, so each is easily identifiable when importing to your new reference manager.

  1. Login to your New RefWorks account.
  2. Click My Folders (from the left navigation pane) and select a folder for export from the list.
  3. Check the Select All box (just above your list of references) and click the Share icon. 
  4. Choose Export References.
    A screenshot of Refworks with the Share menu open and the Export References option highlighted.
  5. Choose the following options:
    1. From: All references in 'Folder Name'
    2. Format: BibTeX
    3. Click Export
  6. Make note of where you export/save the file, because you'll need it to import into Zotero.
  7. Repeat these steps for each folder, then follow the import instructions for Zotero.

Exporting from New Refworks, All at Once

If you don't need to maintain the same folder structure in your new reference manager, exporting your citations all at once is a much quicker option.

  1. Login to your New RefWorks account.
  2. Click All Documents (upper left of screen), check the Select All box (just above your list of references) and click the Share icon. 
  3. Choose Export References
    A screenshot of Refworks with the Share menu open and the Export References option highlighted.
  4. Choose the following options:
    • From: All references in 'All Documents'
    • Format: BibTeX
    • Click Export
  5. Make note of where you export/save the file, because you'll need it to import into Zotero.

Importing into Zotero

  1. Open Zotero. From the File menu in the upper left hand corner, select Import.
  2. A window asking "Where do you want to import from?" will pop up. Select A file and click Next.
    A screenshot of the Zotero Import pop-up window with "A file (BibTeX, RIS, Zotero RDF, etc.)" selected
  3. Select a file you exported from RefWorks and click Open.
    A screenshot of a computer's files and the exported Refworks citations file selected, about to choose the "Open" option
  4. A dialogue box with the option "Place imported collections and items into a new collection" will appear. You have two choices:
    • Leave this option checked if you would like Zotero to place your citations into a new, automatically created folder. (Folders are called "collections" in Zotero)
    • Or, uncheck this box if you would prefer the citations to be imported into the "Unfiled Items" area of your Zotero library.
  5. Once you have made your selection, click Next.
  6. Your references are now imported into Zotero.
  7. If you opted to have Zotero create a new collection for your citations, you may rename it if you wish by right clicking on the collection in the left sidebar and selecting Rename Collection. The default name of the collection is the same as the name of the file you imported.