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RefWorks Transition Guide

Learn about alternate citation management tools like Zotero, Mendley, and EndNote. Then follow step-by-step directions to migrate your citations out of RefWorks to your new citation manager.

Library Research Guide

Alternate Transition from RefWorks 3

If the RefWorks Export Bookmarklet from our Transition from RefWorks 3 page does not work for you, please contact a librarian and follow these alternate steps.

Step 1: Export citations from RefWorks 3

  1. Log into your RefWorks account.
  2. Select the folder icon to the left and select a folder: Clicking the folder icon on the sidebar menu and selecting a folder
  3. Your folders are listed here. For each folder, select the folder, then export references by clicking the Share & Export icon and selecting Export references: Clicking the Share & Export icon on the library_controls navigation menu shows an option to export references of the selected folder
  4. Select RIS Format. RIS is a commonly used reference format which you can import to Zotero, Mendeley, or EndNote.
     Selecting from all references (step 3) and RIS Format (step 4) in the Export references menu
  5. Rename and save each file with the original folder name so you can keep it organized when you import it into your new citation manager. For example, save citations exported from a folder called Biology Manuscript as "Biology Manuscript".​ Repeat steps 3-6 for each folder you have.

Your references are now ready to import into a new citation manager!

  1. Log into your RefWorks account.
  2. Select the All Documents icon at the top left then select Export & Share: Beginning to export RefWorks references by clicking All Documents on sidebar and then Export & Share on the library_controls navigation bar
  3. Choose whether you want to export from All references in 'All Documents' or Selected references.
  4. Select a RIS Format. RIS is a commonly used reference format which you can import to Zotero, Mendeley, or EndNote.
    Selecting from all references (step 3) and RIS Format (step 4) in the Export references menu
  5. Name and save the file.

Your references are now ready to import into a new citation manager!

Step 3: Import citations to your new citation manager

  1. Create an account, download Zotero 5.0, and open it.

Ctrl+Shift+I to import

  1. In the Zotero installed on your computer, select File from the top bar, then Import. When the Where do you want to import from? box appears, select a file type (BibTeX, RIS, Zotero RDF, etc.).
  2. Select the file that you exported from RefWorks and select Open. All done!

 

Note: When using Zotero Desktop on a public computer be sure to sign in and out of your account in Edit > Preferences > Sync.

  1. Create a Mendeley account then download and open Mendeley Desktop
  1. Select File, then Import, then the RIS - Research Information Systems (*.ris) option.

Importing by selecting File, Import, and RIS

  1. Find the RIS (*.ris) file that RefWorks exported, then select Open. All done!

 

  1. Create a paid EndNote Desktop account (student and upgrade discounts for EndNote x9 available here) and log in.
  2. Select File, then Import, then File:
    Selecting File then Import then File in Endnote to import citations from RefWorks
  3. Select Choose to browse for the file you exported from RefWorks, select the Import Option for your exported fileand then select Import. All done!
    Selecting Reference Manager (RIS) import option in Endnote to import your references from RefWorksIf you are a Mac user, you may be unable to import RefWorks citations directly into EndNote Desktop. You can import citations to EndNote Online (see the tab above) and then sync your accounts so that the citations also appear in EndNote Desktop. 
  1. Create a free EndNote Online account (select EndNote from the tools menu) and log in.

     

  2. Select Collect and then Import References.Selecting Collect and Import References
  3. Choose File to browse for the file you exported from RefWorks, select RefMan RIS as Import Option, select New group from To, and click on Import. All done!

    Importing references

Step 3 (optional): Bulk transfer your PDFs

Follow the instructions below to transfer your PDFs (or other files) from RefWorks 2 to your new citation manager. Note: If you are already using RefWorks 3, start here.

 
  1. RefWorks 2 users, create a RefWorks 3 account using your K-State email address and log in.
  2. Select the + sign at the top of RefWorks, select Import references, then RefWorks.

    Clicking the + sign in the library_controls menu and selecting import references

    After a couple of steps to authenticate, your citations should be transferred from your old RefWorks account to your new RefWorks account automatically.

    1. In your RefWorks 3 account, select your name at the top right, then select Settings.Accessing user settings
    2. After re-entering your login information, move down the page and select Connect under Dropbox.
    3. If you don't already have one, create a Dropbox account, then sign in. Your new RefWorks account should now be linked with your Dropbox account.  All of your PDFs are now under the folder Apps, in the subfolder called ProQuest RefWorks.
    4. Open your Zotero/Mendeley/EndNote window and Dropbox window side-by-side. Drag and drop each PDF from Dropbox to the matching article in the citation manager to reattach the PDFs.

      Zotero and Dropbox windows side-by-side