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RefWorks is a web-based citation management program that enables you to download, store, and share references, and format bibliographies in seconds.

UBC Library maintains a site licence to both RefWorks and RefShare. They are available for free to UBC students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

As of May 21, 2015, UBC RefWorks accounts and databases will be stored on servers located in the United States.
  • After May 21st, you will need to reinstall Write-n-Cite (now called Proquest for Word) and RefGrab-It, if you use these components of RefWorks.
  • After your account information is migrated, it will be subject to US laws, specifically the USA PATRIOT Act, which allows US authorities to access your personal information. Unfortunately, there are no other citation management tools that store their data exclusively on Canadian servers. Therefore, if you are concerned about RefWorks storing your personal information outside Canada, you should replace it with non-identifying information before May 21, 2015.
  • Please contact us with any questions about the migration.

Account Information

About RefWorks

UBC Library currently supports the Legacy version of RefWorks. In 2018, all RefWorks users will be moved to a new version of the software. The library's RefWorks resource guide has information about both the Legacy and New versions. Any recent changes to RefWorks will be updated here.

Create a New Account

Create a free individual account (you can create more than one account).

Login to Legacy RefWorks here.

  1. On the RefWorks log-in page, choose Sign up for an Individual Account.
  2. Complete the New User Information form. If you have privacy concerns about entering your personal information, you may supply non-identifying information (e.g. UBCresearcher12345).
  3. Click Register, and start using RefWorks!
  4. You will receive a confirmation email with your log-in and password.

You may try the new version of RefWorks by signing up with a UBC email address here. Alternatively, to sign up without a UBC email address, please log in here and follow the instructions.


  • Do NOT try to create an account or log in directly from - use the link provided above.

Important: Please review the RefWorks Privacy Policy.



  • All students, faculty, and staff of UBC should access RefWorks from this page to authenticate using EZproxy.
  • Alumni do not have access to EZproxy, and should access RefWorks using the Group Code.

UBC Group Code

  • If you are unable to use the EZproxy access, you can authenticate your computer using UBC's Subscriber Group Code. Click here to access the Subscriber Group Code form; you will need your CWL or UBC Card barcode and PIN to access the group code. Then go to the UBC Library RefWorks log-in page. In the Remote Access window, enter the group code and then click 'Go to Log-in'.

PLEASE NOTE: The group code may be changed once a year for security reasons.

Deleting an Account

Contact if you wish to delete your account.

Accounts that have been inactive for more than 2 years may be deleted by the UBC Library RefWorks administrators.

Moving References from RefWorks to other Citation Management Software

Should you want to move the content of your RefWorks account to a different program such as EndNote, Mendeley, or Zotero, SFU Library has compiled some step-by-step instructions.

Maintaining Your Account When You Leave UBC

Alumni access

Graduates of UBC can create or maintain a RefWorks account as UBC alumni. Alumni have access to RefWorks, but not to subscription databases from the library. As well, the UBC eLink in RefWorks will not provide access to online full-text resources.

To maintain or create your current account as an alumni:

  1. Obtain a UBC Alumni ACard.
  2. Obtain your UBC Library card.
  3. Contact the UBC Library RefWorks listserve at to obtain the UBC Library group code, then create or access your RefWorks account using the group code to authenticate.

If you are joining another institution that has a RefWorks site license, you can move your database to a new account with that institution. Remember to backup your UBC account; you can then restore the citations to your new account.

Enter Citations

Adding Citations to your Refworks Database

There are many ways to add citations to your account.

View one of the online tutorials from the RefWorks YouTube channel, or read this Overview or Help pages within RefWorks to get started.

Selected tutorials include:

Adding References from UBC Library Catalogue and Summon

The current UBC Library catalogue does not support exporting citations to RefWorks. Please use one of the following options instead:

  • Search and download citations from the Library's catalogue from within RefWorks. Select University of British Columbia Library from the drop-down menu.
  • Use the Summon search interface to find records and download directly to RefWorks from Summon.

Storage Space

UBC RefWorks users have up to 5 GB of storage in RefWorks, and there is no limit on the number of references that can be stored. However, accounts larger than 1 GB, with more than 100 attachments, or more than 20,000 references may be very difficult or impossible to backup or move.

Use Citations / Write-N-Cite

Building Your Bibliography

There are four ways to use RefWorks to write your paper and format your bibliography. You can:

  1. Use Write-N-Cite to format your paper from within MS Word
  2. Use One Line/Cite View as an alternative to Write-N-Cite; it works with all word processors on any operating system
  3. Create a simple reference list (without in-text citations or footnotes)
  4. Create a formatted paper and bibliography using RefWorks

Using Write-N-Cite (also known as Proquest for Word)

Download Write-N-Cite from the Tools menu in RefWorks. You'll also need to ensure that your computer has the latest versions of Microsoft Word, Java, and Visual Studios Tools for Windows. Please note that Write-n-Cite is not currently compatible with Word 2016 for Mac. Mac users with Word 2016 should consult this guide for workarounds.

Another alternative for Mac users of Word 2016 is to download RefWorks Citation Manager from the Office Store, as described in this guide from Gonzaga University.

This tutorial shows how to use Write-N-Cite to create citations and bibliographies.

Using One Line/Cite View

View this tutorial.

Creating a Simple Reference List

View this tutorial.

Modify a Citation Style

RefWorks allows you to choose from many traditional output styles such as APA, Chicago, Turabian, and MLA, as well as citation styles defined by particular journals. See the RefWorks complete list of Output Styles Supported.

To modify an existing output style, or create a new one, see the Using the Output Style Editor tutorials.

Share Citations / RefShare

Sharing Citations Using RefShare

RefShare is a module of RefWorks that allows users to share citations, folders, and databases with members of the UBC community, and globally with any researcher having Internet access.

Please note that attachments are not viewable through RefShare for purposes of copyright compliance.

Sharing Citations Using RefWorks

If you choose not to use RefShare to share folders, RefWorks also has other options for sharing your citations. See the Sharing References without RefShare section of RefWorks Help (found under Sharing Your References) for more information.

Collaborating with Researchers at Other Institutions Using RefWorks

Important Notice:

If you intend to make use of RefWorks in collaboration with researchers at institutions other than The University of British Columbia, it is required that such researchers:

  1. are members of an institution that has a RefWorks licence, AND
  2. are working on a collaborative research project with you, a researcher at The University of British Columbia.

Researchers at UBC are prohibited from sharing their UBC RefWorks account information with anyone who does not meet the criteria set forth in 1 and 2 above.

To share your UBC RefWorks account information as noted above, you will need to provide your RefWorks Log-in Name and Password as well as the UBC Group Code to the non-UBC researchers with whom you are collaborating.


Need more Help? Have questions about Refworks?


What is the UBC Library Group Code? Follow this link.