This may seem obvious, but limitations related to how RefWorks exports data, and other citation management systems load data complicate the process. If you are in the middle of a writing project, you will also need to go through your document(s) to replace the RefWorks citations with citations from your new system. NOTE: There is no easy way to export all of your PDFs or other file attachments from RefWorks at once. RefWorks' built in support for exporting your collection of references doesn't handle some document types very well, but there's a way to work around the problem by using a custom output style.
Select the Local Bibliographic Software style in the left window and click the green arrow to add it to your Favourites list. In the Create a bibliography window, select "All in list", select the "Local Bibliographic Software" option from the Output Style menu, choose "Text" from the File Type options, and click on the Create Bibliography button. Open your new citation management system, and use its "Import" feature to load the file "references.ris".
All your citations are now in the new system, but without their corresponding article PDFs, and all in one big pile, rather than being organized into folders.
If you want to start using your new citation managment system with your folders all properly organized, and you are migrating to Zotero or Mendeley, then this is the process for you.
A new window will appear, with the references from the selected folder in the export format. If a citation is in more than one folder, then it will be exported multiple times, once for each folder that it is in.
Once you have exported a file for each of your RefWorks folders, open your new citation management system.
When Zotero imports a file of citations, it automatically creates a new folder to store the citations.


Once you've imported all of your citations, you can use the special "Duplicate Items" folder in the Zotero folder list to merge any duplicates that were created. When Mendeley imports a file of citations it automatically adds it to the folder that you are currently viewing. Once you've imported all of your files, select All Documents at the top of the list of folders in the Mendeley Desktop, and then select Tools: Check for Duplicates to identify and merge any duplicates that were created. EndNote Basic, Mendeley, and Zotero all import RefWorks descriptors, and let you search on them. In the Global Edit window, select "all in list"; choose "Descriptors" from the "Specific Field" menu, and add a descriptor called "Folder_[name of folder]".
Once you've added descriptors for each of your folders, open the All References list, and then export your entire RefWorks collection, as described in the section "The Simplest way to export" above. In EndNote Basic, search for Folder_[name of folder], using the names you created in RefWorks. Type the original name of the folder into the window that appears asking you for the name of the new group. This work by Western Libraries Citation Management Working Group is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
RefWorks also offers the ability to manually enter a citation into your account, which is sometimes necessary for when a citation is not exportable from a particular database.
4) You can choose to add the citation to a specific folder in your RefWorks account (highlighted in red), attach the research which matches your citation (highlighted in green), enter any additional fields of information from the citation (highlighted in yellow), then either add the citation to the folder you selected (highlighted in orange), or save the reference into your main account page by clicking "Save reference" (highlighted in blue).
8) Your reference should appear in a new tab of your browser, from which you'll be able to copy and paste the citation into your paper. Regardless of how you export your references from RefWorks, you will have to download your attachments one at a time.


If you are planning on switching to EndNote Basic, then use the "exporting with tags" option, because EndNote doesn't handle duplicate citations very well. Use your browser's File menu to save the page as a file with the same names as the folder, but use the file extension ".ris". This will create duplicate citations when you import the files into Zotero or Mendeley, but don't worry; those systems can merge the duplicate items for you. Importing the citations is slightly different, depending on if you are importing into Zotero or Mendeley.
This means that you can tag citations in RefWorks with the names of the folders they are in, export your entire RefWorks library once, and use the tags to recreate your folders in your new system. In this example, the "Card Sorting" folder is getting the descriptor "Folder_Card_Sorting". You will be asked if you are sure, and then RefWorks will double check that you want to edit all the citations in the list. Read the text and screenshot tutorial below to learn more about manually entering a citation into your RefWorks account.
Please note: in order for the tab to appear, you must have pop-up blockers disabled before clicking "Create Bibliography".



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