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Using Legacy RefWorks

Resources to help you use the Legacy RefWorks reference management tool provided by the Amelia Cirio Library.

Use Direct Export function in databases and export citations directly to RefWorks

"Direct export" from databases: Many databases provide a "direct export" function that allows you to add a citation or group of citations found in a database directly to RefWorks without having to save any files to import manually. To use direct export:


  • Mark/tag or save to folder the citations you want to add to RefWorks.
  • Find and click on the Save, Export, Send to, or Download link or icon in the database (these options are different across our databases), then choose the "Direct Export to RefWorks" or "Save to RefWorks" option.

  • The RefWorks login screen will appear. Login to your RefWorks account.
  • RefWorks will display the message "Importing references, please wait...", and when finished will display "Import completed - [x] reference(s) imported," and a View Last Imported Folder link. You can then move the citation(s) into a folder of your choice in RefWorks.

Adding Citations Manually

You can enter a citation for a reference into RefWorks manually.

  • Log into your RefWorks account. Pull down the References menu and select Add New Reference.
  • Choose the citation format you are utilizing, (APA, MLA. etc.)
  • Choose the reference type (book, journal article, web page, etc.)
  • Enter information into the corresponding fields (Author, Title, Pub Year, etc.)
  • Under Add to folder, select the folder or folders where you want to store your reference.  The folder name(s) will be displayed below the drop-down after you select them.

    Note:  If you do not select a folder, the reference is placed in your main database and is considered unfiled (accessed by searching, by clicking on the link in the  Folders area that indicates how many unfiled records you have or by selecting View, View Folder, Not in Folder).

Save citations from databases to desktop/import saved file to RefWorks

Export from database/Import to RefWorks: To add citations from databases without direct export, you need to save marked/tagged citations from the database to your computer as a text (.txt) file, which you can then import into RefWorks. Records from "desktop" citation management software (such as EndNote) can also be imported into RefWorks in this way.

  • Mark/tag or save to folder the citations you want to add to RefWorks.
  • Click the Save, Download, Export, or Sendto link (these options are different across our databases).
  • You will be prompted to save a text file (.txt)--save the file on the computer you are using.
  • To import your citations into RefWorks, login to RefWorks, and under the References menu select Import. In the window that appears, access the drop-down menu next to Import Filter/Data Source, select the source of the data and then the resource you are importing from. You can also specify which folder in RefWorks you want to add the citations to.
  • Click the Browse button to select the text file you just saved to your computer and click Import.
  • RefWorks will display the message "Importing references, please wait...", and when finished will display "Import completed - [x] reference(s) imported," and a View Last Imported Folder link.
  • You can then move the citation(s) into a folder of your choice in RefWorks.

Use RefGrab-It to capture bibliographic information from web pages

RefGrab-It works with your browser to capture bibliographic information from web pages giving you the option to import that data into your RefWorks account.

RefGrab-It is compatible with the following browsers:

  • Internet Explorer (Windows only)
  • FireFox (Windows and Mac)
  • Google Chrome (Windows and Mac)

Before you can begin to use this feature:

1.  Install RefGrab-It bookmarklet

To download RefGrab-It onto your personal computer:

  1. Within RefWorks, go to the menu command for Tools.
  2. Highlight and click RefGrab-It.
  3. You may choose from options to download and run an installer file for Internet Explorer or Firefox, or you may save RefGrab-It as a bookmarklet on your computer's list of Bookmarks or Favorites. Click Install Information for your choice of the three options, then read and follow the instructions that appear.  
  4. Close your browser and re-open before using RefGrab-It for the first time.

2.   To use RefGrab-It:

  1. Navigate to any website.
  2. Click on the RefGrab-It bookmarklet link/button, or choose RefGrab-It from your list of Bookmarks/Favorites.

  1. The RefGrab-It window will open with references it has found. You can expand or collapse the results by clicking on the plus or minus icon.
  2. To view the full reference, click on the Show Details link.
  3. To export a single reference, select the record and click on the export to RefWorks icon:
  4. To export multiple references, select the records (or the Select All in Section option(s) or the All option at the top of the list to include all references on the page regardless of the section) and click the Import to RefWorks button at the top of the pop-up window.
  5. If you are already logged into RefWorks, your references will appear in the Last Imported Folder.  Otherwise you will be prompted to log in and your references will then import.

Help from RefWorks Site

Export Citations from the Fitchburg State Traditional Catalog

Exporting a record from the Traditional Catalog

  1. You will need to download the RefGrab-it tool from the RefWorks site.

Find the Tool drop down menu and choose RefGrab-it.  Instructions to download are provided.


  1.  Once you have downloaded RefGrab-It, you can search the catalog for the items to add to RefWorks.

Example:  Gone with the Wind

Open the record by clicking on the title.  Click on Export on the right.

 The export window will open. Choose Endnote Citation and click to Export

  1. The export will create a text file of the record information. 











5. Click on your RefGrab-It Tool on the Browser tool bar.

6. Check the box on the item you want to import. &  Click on Import to RefWorks.

A screen may pop-up, asking if which version.  Fitchburg State utilizes the original RefWorks (Legacy).  Click on the Legacy version.

Once RefWorks has opened, an Import Log screen will open. Click on View Last Imported File, and you will see the item you imported from the Traditional Catalog.










Your citation will now be in your RefWorks list of citations.  You can add it to a folder.