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RefWorks (Legacy)

Information about setting up and using a RefWorks account

Backing Up and Restoring Your RefWorks Database

Your references are very safe (backed up) on RefWorks servers.  However, if you wish to back up your RefWorks account you can do so very easily.  The following short tutorial explains the process.  You may wish to back up your RefWorks for other reasons, e.g. moving to another organization.  In such a case you could back up your account and restore it to a new account complete with customized settings, RSS feeds, attachments and customized output styles. (Caution: Use the restore option only on a new or empty account because it will replace any data or settings in that account.)

Exporting/Importing References to/from another RefWorks, EndNote or Reference Manager user

Another way to back up your references is with the export feature.  However, export will only save your references, it will not save attachments or customized settings.  Export is more often used to send selected references or a whole database of references to another RefWorks user or even to someone who uses a different personal information manager, e.g. EndNote.

To export references:

  1. Log-in to your RefWorks account.
  2. Select/Open the folder of references you wish to export and proceed to Step # 4.
  3. Alternatively, you can Select random references to export and add them to My List (see a - c below)

a)    To use MyList, select References by checking the box next to each desired


b)    Place your cursor over the “Selected” command (becomes a 4-arrow


c)    Left click and drag the cursor over to the MyList folder.

       (Use this proces (a to c above) to add references to your MyList folder

        from anywhere in your RefWorks account.)

d)   Click on the MyList folder to view the references you have collected there.

  1. From the RefWorks main menu select, References and then select  Export.
  2. Select "All in List" to export all the references from either the MyList or another selected folder.
  3. Select RefWorks Tagged Format if you are exporting to another RefWorks user OR select Bibliographic Manager ... if you are exporting to an EndNote or Reference Manager user.
  4. Click  on the Export button.
  5. You will be prompted to save the references as a “. txt” file to your computer.
  6. If you wish to share these references with another user or multiple users, simply attach the file to an email message, and instruct the person(s) to whom you sent the file to save the file to their computer and to use the "Import" function of RefWorks, EndNote or Reference Manager to add the references to their database.


Instructions for importing references from another RefWorks user. 

(To import references from an EndNote or Reference Manager user, see the "Adding References by Importing Text video."  and note that the import filter you will use for these systems is "RIS Format."

  1. Log-in to your RefWorks account.
  2. Select References, Import.
  3. Select RefWorks Tagged Format as the data source.
  4. Click the Browse button and locate the“. txt” file you wish to import.
  5. Click Import.
  6. The references will appear in the Last Imported Folder.


Note:  Reference ID numbers are not transferred when exporting or importing.  Any references imported from one RefWorks account to another, will be assigned new Ref IDs according to the numbering in your account

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