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Citation Resources: Transitioning from RefWorks

Resources to help you cite sources and manage references.

In December, 2018, Dartmouth College Library’s subscription to RefWorks will end and will not be renewed. There are a number of factors that went into this decision but the primary drivers are: the combination of a shrinking RefWorks user group; RefWorks’ lack of cross-platform support; and the emergence of free, more powerful alternatives to serve your research management needs. Current RefWorks users who would like to save their citations are advised to export them by the end of November, 2018. 

We have created this page to help users transition away from RefWorks. If you run into any difficulties, please do not hesitate to contact the Library for assistance.

Exporting References from ProQuest RefWorks (Blue Logo)

In order to export references from ProQuest RefWorks (Blue Logo), log in at From there, use the "Share" button in the top navigation bar, and select "Export References" from the dropdown menu.

Export option in ProQuest RefWorksFrom there, you can export all references by selecting "All References in 'All Documents.'" You can export your references as either a BibTeX or RIS file, both of which can be easily imported by other reference managers.

Detail of ProQuest RefWorks export menu

Exporting References from Legacy RefWorks (Orange Logo)

In order to export your references from Legacy RefWorks (Orange Logo), log in at From there, use the "Export" button on the right-hand side to open the export menu.

Screenshot of RefWorks highlighting export button


To export all of your references, use "All In List." You can export to a variety of formats, including an RIS file used by other citation managers.

Detail of RefWorks export menu


RefWorks will warn you if you try to export more than 500 references at a time, but it often still works. If you run into difficulties, please contact the Library for further assistance.

Importing References to Zotero

Zotero is one of the reference managers that the Library recommends in lieu of RefWorks.

Once you have exported exported your references from RefWorks as an RIS or BibTeX file, you can import them into Zotero directly. When the Zotero desktop application is open, you can import them like this:

  • File > Import...
  • Select your exported file (.ris or .bib work best)

This will create a new collection in Zotero with the citations you've just imported.

Important Notes:

  • Zotero does NOT import CSV files easily, even though some versions RefWorks have CSV as an export option
  • Your original directory structure of collections from RefWorks will NOT be maintained, just the citations. You will have to recreate that structure in Zotero if you wish to do so.