This is the "Exporting Your RefWorks Database" page of the "RefWorks Migration Guide" guide.
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RefWorks Migration Guide  

Migrate your citations from RefWorks to another citation manager.
Last Updated: Sep 19, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Exporting Your RefWorks Database Print Page

Why Migrate?

Clarion University of Pennsylvania's institutional subscription to RefWorks is being discontinued as of December 31, 2013.  You will need to migrate your data from RefWorks to another citation manager or purchase an individual subscription to RefWorks.

My institution subscribes to RefWorks. What happens to my data if they decide to cancel next year?
You will be notified prior to the cancellation. At that time, you can purchase an individual subscription to RefWorks or, if you prefer, you can export your entire database in a format that is compatible with other bibliographic software. You can also export the data in a delimited format to use in some other type of database program. (From RefWorks FAQ)

Zotero and Mendeley offer free basic accounts or you can upgrade (for a fee) if you need more space or features.  Wikipedia has a comparison of reference management software to aid your decision for migrating your bibliographic data.


Exporting your RefWorks Database

RefWorks makes it easy to export your citations in a format that can be imported into almost any other citation manager. You may lose some customization however, and attachments will not be exported.

Chrome Users:

Diacritic characters do not always export correctly in Chrome. We recommend using Firefox or Internet Explorer when exporting from RefWorks.

Transfer Citations: Overview (From RefWorks website)

To switch from RefWorks to another citation manager such as Mendeley, Zotero, etc., you should use the Export feature of RefWorks. This page includes instructions for transferring citations to major tools. See the instructions for the citation manager to which you are switching.

If you do not know the citation manager to which you will migrate, use the Save Citations instructions below to save your citations to your computer.

Please note that any attachments you may have in your RefWorks account will not transfer. You will need to recreate the folder organization of your RefWorks account in the citation manager you choose. You may want to consider exporting citations folder by folder.

If you will continue to use RefWorks through a personal subscription or at another institution, you should use the Backup/Restore feature of RefWorks. See instructions Transfer Citations to another RefWorks account. Please note that the Open URL feature (Find It links to full text) and Attachments feature are only available with an institutional subscription and will not be available with a personal subscription.

Save Citations

In RefWorks

  1. Login to your RefWorks database if you have not already done so.
  2. Click References and Export at the top of the screen.
  3. Choose All References or a folder from the drop-down menu.
  4. Select Bibliographic Software 
  5. Click Export.
  6. Click File and Save As.
  7. Type your disk drive, the filename in the File Name box.
  8. Select Text from the Save As Type drop-down menu.
  9. Click Save.

Saving your RefWorks Folders

There is no easy way to save your RefWorks folder structure when migrating to another tool. There are some tricks you can use to make it easier, though.

  • Add folder names to the Descriptors field in RefWorks. Use the Global Edit function to do this quickly.
  • Or, add folder names to a user defined field. Use the Global Edit here as well. This is most useful if you are planning to use EndNote.
  • Consider adding "Folder" to the name when you edit your references, such as "Folder Mansueto". This can make things easier to sort into folders in your new tool.

LibGuide Credit

Thanks to the University of Chicago Library Citation Manager Team for allowing us to use portions of their LibGuide.


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