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NEW RefWorks

Use RefWorks to collect and manage your references and help with your in-text citations and bibliographies.

Legacy RefWorks is retired from 30th June 2023.

If you used your legacy RefWorks account in the year up to 28th June and had not upgraded it, it may have been upgraded on your behalf. In this case you should have received an email from RefWorks about your new account.

If your 'legacy' RefWorks was upgraded for you ....

If your legacy RefWorks was upgraded on your behalf, you should have received an email with information from RefWorks about your account:

  • You should be able to login to your new account with any user name you used for legacy, or via the Institutional Login link.
  • Once you have logged in via institutional login, you can create your own password which you will need to use RefWorks Citation Manager (the writing tool for creating your in-text citations in Word). See more login guidance at

If you already had a 'new' RefWorks account:

  • The legacy references should be added to a separate 'Project' if your new account has the same email address as the legacy version. You can choose whether to keep the new project. Change between different projects from the drop-down menu on the blue bar on top left (where you will also see option to Manage projects if you wish to create other projects e.g. for sharing with others).

  • The references should be added to an additional 'new' RefWorks account if your legacy account had a different email address. You will then have two 'new' RefWorks accounts and may close one of them if not required. Before closing an account you may wish to share references or projects to the account you are keeping.

IMPORTANT - Upgrade to New RefWorks

Legacy RefWorks is being retired in 2023 and will not be available after 30th June. If you are not already using new RefWorks ( ask you to upgrade before end of June to avoid last minute problems.

- In Legacy RefWorks click the 'Upgrade to the latest version of RefWorks' button which is at top right of screen  (recommended method).

- Alternatively, create an account for New RefWorks and Import your references from Legacy (your folder structure will be retained and PDFs etc. imported).

Note: if you use Write-N-Cite to create in-text citations from RefWorks in your Word document it is best to complete your document before upgrading. If you do need to do the upgrade before your document is complete, take a backup copy before working on it with the new version. See Upgrade a Write-N-Cite document and contact the Library for guidance.

See more guidance on Upgrading from Legacy to New RefWorks and also how to Upgrade a Write-N-Cite document.

Important considerations before you upgrade from Legacy to New RefWorks

When should I upgrade to New RefWorks?

The sooner the better. We advise that you upgrade by the end of 2022.

What if I am working on a document?

 You can upgrade at any time but you may wish to delay a little until:

  • You have completed any work for a close deadline for one or more pieces of work.
  • You have completed any Word documents linked to legacy RefWorks using Write-N-Cite.
  • You have time to do the upgrade and learn a little about using the new tools.

IMPORTANT: Always save a copy of your documents before upgrading them.

Should I upgrade if I am writing up my PhD?

  •  If your PhD will be completed (including revisions etc.) by end of 2022 you may wish to delay upgrading to new RefWorks until it is finished.
  • If you are still likely to be working on your PhD in 2023 you may need to upgrade before it is finished. Discuss this with your Academic Liaison Librarian.

Will all my data map exactly as it is from Legacy to New RefWorks?

  • Most data will map across exactly as it is, especially if you mainly use journal articles, books book chapters etc.
  • New RefIDs will be assigned to your references. This ensures all references have unique IDs and avoids confusion or corrupt records. This may affect a few researchers using the IDs e.g. if using IDs in systematic review screening process. 
  • Data from a small number of fields for certain reference types may not be migrated. For example in a 'Personal Communication' reference, any data in the 'volume' field is not copied. See Reference Fields -- Exceptions for more details.
  • The name of a small number of Reference Types has changed e.g.a 'sound recording' in legacy RefWorks is called 'Audio' in new RefWorks. See the Reference Types for any changes.
  • Most field names are the same but a very small number have changed, usually to something more meaningful e.g. in Journal Article the 'Periodical; Full' field is now called 'Journal and similarly for a Conference Proceedings reference, the 'Periodical; Full' field is now called 'Proceedings Title'. See Reference Fields for other changes.

What happens about folders I share with colleagues?

  • Re-share any shared folders (formerly called shared collections), including those 'publicly' shared via URL.

  • See how to share folders and the improved sharing methods in Sharing Folders of References.


Issues and Troubleshooting