Political Science

This guide provides information about conducting research and library resources for students studying political science.

Library Research Guide

Reading Documents in RefWorks

RefWorks has a built-in reader – no need for a .pdf reader or special app to read your documents.  You can read and access supported documents anywhere, with just a web browser. 

Select the reference with an attached document and click the "Read" button in the viewing pane.  The full document or article will open for you to read and annotate.  If the item does not contain a document, only the reference metadata will display.

Screenshot of highlighting the option to read a pdf document in RefWorks from an item record


You have several options when reading and annotating a document, all of which can be found on the tool bar on the top of the page:

  • Return to your folder
  • Zoom in or zoom out on the document for enhanced viewing
  • Print a copy of the document
  • Download a PDF version of the document to your computer
  • Highlight portions of the text
  • Comment on selected text
  • Add notes to the document that you are viewing
  • Edit the document reference data

Screenshot of the toolbar with options for reading and annotating a pdf document in RefWorks

Annotating Documents in RefWorks

You can annotate any of your own documents saved in RefWorks. You may be able to annotate documents shared with you if you have been given permission to annotate and/or modify the document. 

To annotate a document, select the reference with the document and click the "Read" button in the viewing pane. The document will display in the reader.   Click the Document Notes icon Image of the Document Notes icon from the reader menu and enter your notes. 

Screenshot showing the Documents Notes option when reading a document in RefWorks



To highlight areas of text, click the Highlight Selected Text icon Image of the Highlight Selected Text iconand select words of text by clicking and dragging through the lines of text.

Screenshot showing how to highlight text when reading a document in RefWorks



To remove highlighting, click the highlighted area until the delete option displays.  Click "Delete Conversation".

Screenshot showing how to remove highlighting when reading a document in RefWorks



You may also click and drag using the Comment icon imaged of the Comment iconto highlight text and associate a comment with it.

Screenshot showing how to use the Comment option to highlight text and make a comment when reading a document in RefWorks



Change the color of your note and the associated highlighted text, edit your note, or delete your note completely by clicking on the three dots at the far right in the note box.

Screenshot showing how to modify a note when reading a document in RefWorks



You can also access notes by clicking on the note indicator that will appear to the far right of the selected area. 

Screenshot showing how you can access notes by clicking on an indicator to the right of text when reading a document in RefWorks.


Once you type a note, it is automatically saved.

Accessing your Documents Offline

RefWorks allows you to view and read your documents without being connected to the internet using a service called Dropbox. You’ll need to download the Dropbox installer and create a Dropbox account which you will link to your RefWorks account.
To link RefWorks to Dropbox:
1.       Log into RefWorks.

2.       Click your name, then select “Tools”

3.       In the "General" area, scroll down the page until you see a section of the page called “Dropbox”. Click the “Connect” button.
Screenshot showing the pop up box allowing you to connect to your Dropbox account

4.     If you have a Dropbox account, enter your login credentials and click “Sign in”. If you are new to Dropbox, click the “create an account” link on the Dropbox site and download and install Dropbox on your computer.
5       You’ll be asked to give RefWorks permission to create a folder in your Dropbox called “ProQuest RefWorks” in your Apps folder. This is where RefWorks will place a copy of your articles.
You can only store your own articles in Dropbox – articles in shared collections are not included.  All of your articles (regardless of what Collection they are filed in) are saved to your ProQuest RefWorks folder in your Apps folder.
After you first set up your connection from RefWorks to Dropbox, newly uploaded documents you save to RefWorks are automatically saved in Dropbox as well as. When you remove a document from your RefWorks library, it will be removed from Dropbox as well.
To disconnect your RefWorks account from Dropbox:
1.       Log in to RefWorks.

2.       Click your name, then select “Tools”

3.       In the "General" area, scroll down and click the “Unlink” button in the Dropbox area of the page.
Screenshot showing pop up box to use when unlinking your RefWorks account from Dropbox

RefWorks will no longer sync your files with Dropbox.  Articles currently in your ProQuest RefWorks folder in Dropbox will remain.

If you need to change your Dropbox account associated with RefWorks, see these directions on how to do so.