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A comprehensive guide on using RefWorks. Includes directions and tutorials.

Creating a Legacy RefWorks Account

Starting January 3rd, no new Legacy RefWorks accounts can be created.


Legacy RefWorks is the old version of RefWorks. We recommend that if you are creating a RefWorks account for the first time, you sign-up for New Refworks. If you need to create a Legacy RefWorks, you will:

  1. Go to Legacy RefWorks.
  2.  Click "Sign up for an individual account," and you will be asked to enter the campus Group ID "RWCSULosAngeles."
  3. Once you complete your registration, you can log in with your username and password.

Change from Legacy Refworks to New Refworks Account

  1. Log in to your Legacy Refworks account.
  2. Look in the top-left corner, and there will be an orange button that says "Upgrade to the lastest RefWorks version!" Click on that button.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions.

Create Your Bibliography

In the Create section of the Bibliography area of RefWorks you can generate a reference list in your desired style using all the references in a particular folder. You can use this to preview your finished list of references, or simply generate a list to copy and paste into your document. The video below shows one example of you can create your bibliography.


RefGrab-It allows you to import web page information into RefWorks, such as the title of the web page, the web page's address, and the date the page was accessed. It can be installed as a bookmarklet button to Firefox or Internet Explorer browsers.

Using RefGrab-It

To use RefGrab-It:

  • Click on the RefGrab-It button and a window will open with references it has found. You can expand or collapse the results by clicking on the plus or minus icon.
    • To view the full reference, click on the show details link.
    • To export a single reference, select the record and click on the export to RefWorks icon Export to Reference Icon
    • To export multiple references, select the records and click the Import to RefWorks button at the top of the pop-up window.
  • 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.

Transfer References from Legacy Refworks to New Refworks

If you want to transfer your saved references from between RefWorks accounts, you must have an account with both Legacy and New Refworks.

Transfer References from New Refworks to Legacy Refworks

If you want to transfer your saved references from between RefWorks accounts, you must have an account with both Legacy and New Refworks.

From New Refworks, select all the citations you would like transfer, then click share from the menu and select Export References, pictured below.

Refworks Export Reference Example Screenshot

On the Export page, make sure you select "All References" under From and RIS Format under Format, then  click Export. Your exported file should be downloaded automatically with the file name "export.ris"  in your computer's Downloads directory.


Once the download has been completed, login into your Legacy Refworks account and click Refences and select Import.

Legacy Refworks Screenshot Example

When the Import page opens, do the following:

  • For Import Filter/Date Source, select RIS Format
  • For Database, select RIS Format
  • Click the small rectangle icon next to Select Text File, and select the file "export.ris" from your computer Downloads directory.
  • For Encoding, leave the default option as ANSI - Latin I.
  • For Import Into Folder, select "New Folder", and this will allow you to create a new folder by the name of your choice.
  • Click Import

Additional Help

John F. Kennedy Memorial Library
California State University, Los Angeles
5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90032-8300