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RefWorks: Trouble Shooting

RefWorks helps you to collect and organise your references and automatically create bibliographies and reference lists. It comes with a Write-N-Cite add-on to help with your in-text citations.

Help with RefWorks

Write-N-Cite for Word 2016 on a Mac

Currently WNC is incompatible with Word 2016 on most Macs. An alternative way to cite references in your Word document is to use One Line Cite. See instructions below.


  1. When you wish to cite a reference in your document, go to RefWorks, and click on the Cite icon {} next to the reference or references you wish to cite.
  2. A 'Ciitation Viewer' window will appear containing the citation/s in an abbreviated format.
  3. Click on the Select button.
  4. Copy and paste the citation to the place in your document where the citation should appear. It will appear in curly brackets including the RefWorks number e.g. {{4925 Correia,R. 2013;}}.
  5.  Before creating another citation clear the Citation Viewer in RefWorks.
  6. Once you have inserted all your citations save your document.
  7. In RefWorks click on the Create Bibliography button and select Format Paper and Bibliography link.
  8. Choose the Output Style you need (e.g. Harvard Stirling University).
  9. Click on 'Select a File' and navigate to the Word document you just saved and select it.
  10. A new version of your Word document will open, which includes a bibliography in the appropriate citation style. Your citations will have all been converted to the appropriate style and the curly brackets should have been removed.
  11. Save this document using a new file name in case you wish to go back and edit your original document.

IE9 Users - Top Tips

Some glitches are caused by an occasional conflict between RefWorks and IE9.  Problems include not being able to edit a reference or your bibliography won't update.

Possible fixes:

  1. Use a different Web browser if you have one on your computer e.g. Firefox or Chrome.
  2. If you don't have a different Web browser, press the F12 button on your keyboard.  A menu will appear at the bottom of your screen. Click Cache then select Clear Cache for this domain. You may have to repeat this step if problems recur.
  3. If option 2 does not work you may need to press F12, select Cache and then Clear Browser Cache.



The RefWorks 'Direct Export' function is currently not working in Scopus.

You can still export your references to RefWorks as follows (click the pdf for screen images):

1. In Scopus click the drop down box to choose your export method.

2. Select RIS Format and click Export

3. Click Save As and select the folder where you want to save the references

4. Login to RefWorks, click the References menu and select Import

5. In the Import References Box change the settings as follows:

  • Import Filter/Data Source = RIS Format
  • Database = Scopus
  • Select Text File = Browse to find your RIS file
  • Import into Folder = select your RefWorks folder

Write-N-Cite 'Stale Request'

The stale request error appears if you try to enter a user name & password, or Login from my Institution. At Stirling, we use the Login Code as follows:

  • In Word, click the RefWorks tab.
  • When you see the 'Login with RefWorks' box DO NOT enter your user name and password.
  • Instead you need to use the 'User Authorisation' code which is in small print at the bottom of the screen.
  • To get a login code go to Portal > Resources tab > RefWorks
  • Click Tools > Write-N-Cite
  • Copy the long login code then paste it to the User Authorization Code in Word.

Write-N-Cite 4 Installation Trouble Shooting

If the RefWorks tab does not appear in Word the most common fix is to download a more recent version of Java.  Similarly you need to update Java on your Mac if the WNC toolbar is missing.  See the Check Computer Updates document below.

On staff computers in the University Java is available from 'Run Advertised Programmes' and is called 'Sun Java'.

The following documents contain hints from the RefWorks Support Team that might help with any problems.