5 more wonderful features of RefWorks…


After a day-long training on RefWorks by a professional MLIS trainer (and alum of DU’s GSLIS program) we learned even more of the wonderful ways in which RefWorks makes research easier. As if we didn’t have enough reasons to love it, here are 5 features that will make your toes curl with delight.

1. Write-N-Cite

2. RefGrab-It

3. Feeds

4. Global Edit

5. Abstract & Notes Fields with 1GB of storage (text only)

Why so cool? I’ll tell you…

1. Write-N-Cite

This little plug-in works with Microsoft Word (only, sorry) and will be the workhorse for your in-text citations. Translation: when you are writing a paper for class and you have to cite your sources within the text and include a bibliography at the end – Write-N-Cite will be your best friend. And it can do footnotes. Here’s how.

Download the plug-in while logged into your RefWorks account.

Open Word and you will see the Write-N-Cite icon (it may not appear if you clicked through directions quickly but you can open W-N-C from your desktop too).

Open Write-N-Cite and select the “always on top” icon. You will then be asked to login to your RefWorks account.

Start writing your paper and when you quote or paraphrase a source click the cursor where you want to insert a citation. Then click “cite” next to the citation in the Write-N-Cite. Now a placeholder will be inserted in your paper that looks like this:

{{361 Anonymous 2007; }}

Keep writing and citing. For footnotes, in Word use Insert, Reference, Footnotes (and select the format you want) and insert the placeholder in the footnote.

When you are done writing and citing and ready to print the final copy. SAVE YOUR DOCUMENT. Seriously, I don’t mean to yell, but you have to save the document or else W-N-C will not work.

Now click on the Bibliography button in the Write-N-Cite window, select the output style (citation style, MLA, APA, Chicago, etc) and click Create Bibliography. A new Final version of your document will be create with the correct in-text citations where the placeholders were, and the bibliography at the end. Amazing.

2. RefGrab-It

As explained on the RefWorks site, “RefGrab-It works with your browser to capture bibliographic information from web pages giving you the option to import that data into your RefWorks account.” In short, you add this plug-in to your browser favorites or bookmarks and when you want to cite something on a website – like a book in Amazon.com or an article on the web, simply click on the link in your favorites and RefGrab-It will read the data (as best as it can…) and create a reference for you to add your RefWorks Database. Tres cool.

3. Feeds.

RSS Feeds are cool for many reasons not the least of which is that they bring information to you rather you having to search for information. RefWorks can also syndicate or aggregate feeds for you. You can set up alerts in databases using specific search terms. You can add an RSS feed from the New York Times, CNN.com or your favorite blog. Like any aggregrator (Google Feeds, Bloglines, etc) you can read your feeds, but the added feature is that you can also import the bibliographic information so that you can cite these sources if or when you choose to you use them.

4. Global Edit.

Lets say, for argument’s sake, that when you cite a source from an electronic database you need to include the name and location of the library that provides the resource. And none of your citations have this information because you didn’t realize you needed it until now. And your paper is due tomorrow. The global edit feature allows you to change any number of citations at once. Sigh.

5. Abstract and Notes Fields with 1 GB of storage (text only). I don’t think I need to explain why that is cool. 1GB of storage for each field for every citation…

To better explain some of these features, we will be offering RefWorks Workshops – both Basic and Advanced – in the Spring. Watch this space for more information.




2 thoughts on “5 more wonderful features of RefWorks…”

  1. Kyle, thanks for the question about RefWorks and Zotero. The purpose of this blog is to inform our users of services and resources made available by the library, and to highlight features of which they may not be aware.

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