RefWorks is an online referencing tool that allows you store and format references and then incorporate them into Word documents.

New users

Our subscription to Refworks ends in September 2021. We strongly advise you to use one of the other recommended referencing tools instead.

Referencing tools

Migration information for existing users

Our subscription to Refworks ends on 30 September 2021. Due to issues with the new platform technology and the increases in the availability of alternative low cost and free reference management tools the decision has been made not to renew this resource and support for Refworks will cease.

Over the remaining period of our Refworks subscription you may want to export your Refworks library into an alternative tool. We are offering support with transferring Refworks libraries to another resource if required.

Choose a new reference management tool

We have collated this comparison information to help you choose between our other two recommended tools, Mendeley and Zotero.

Referencing tool comparison (PDF)

Export your Refworks library to Mendeley or Zotero

Drop-in sessions

We are offering weekly drop-in sessions if you have any questions about migrating data from your current Refworks account.

Reference manager drop-in sessions

Refworks user community on Microsoft Teams

We have created a forum within Microsoft Teams for the current Refworks user community to discuss issues and share solutions relating to exporting Refworks collections into either Mendeley or Zotero. Join the Refworks user community (Microsoft Teams) using the code 27u7rz4.

If you have any questions please contact the library.

Guide to using Refworks

RefWorks is an online service that allows you to:

  • Create your own searchable database of references
  • Upload references from text files and websites (including the library search, databases, and the UWE Bristol Research Repository)
  • Incorporate references stored in RefWorks into a Word document
  • Format the references in a wide range of styles (including Harvard).

Log in to Refworks (existing users) 

Getting started

  1. Ask your tutor which referencing style your faculty uses. Refer to the referencing pages for information on how to cite and reference correctly.
  2. Log in to RefWorks.
  3. Once you're logged in, select the appropriate referencing style from the 'Style' drop-down list. To use 'UWE Harvard' you'll need to add it via the 'Select Other Style' option in the list.

Using Refworks for Microsoft Word

Student computers at UWE Bristol should have a 'RefWorks' tab in Microsoft Word which will give you easy access to your saved references. 

Click the 'Log In' button and then select 'University of the West of England' from the 'Log in from my institution' drop-down list. This will take you to the usual UWE Bristol login page.

Once logged in, select the appropriate referencing style from the 'Style' drop-down list. To use 'UWE Harvard' you'll need to add it via the 'Select Other Style' option in the list.

Install Refworks for Word on your own computer

UWE Bristol staff computers

Staff can install on their work machines from the Microsoft 'Software Center', found in:

'Start > All Programs > Microsoft System Center...'
(Look for 'Write-N-Cite...')

Personal computers

To use on your own computer, you will need to download and install 'Write-N-Cite' from the RefWorks website:

  1. Log in
  2. Select 'Tools > Write-N-Cite' from the menu
  3. Download and install 'Write-N-Cite 4 for 32-bit Word' (or follow the 'Other Versions' link for the Mac version).

Known issues

If you are using an old version of the Internet Explorer web browser, or any Safari browser, you may experience problems when exporting references from the library search to RefWorks. If so, please try the following Refworks import workaround (PDF).

Refworks frequently asked questions

These FAQs will help you with the most common problems you may encounter when using RefWorks/Write N'Cite.

I am using RefWorks for creating my bibliography but there is always something wrong with the bibliography

There are many reasons why your references might not be correct when using RefWorks/Write-N-Cite. Please refer to the other questions listed in this section. If you cannot find any answer, contact us. In order to avoid problems, you MUST always make sure that your bibliography does meet the standards. Our guides to referencing will help you to check this. If in doubt, ask your tutor.


Some or all of the references don't look right

Most of the references are imported from databases records. These records might have been indexed inaccurately. Therefore, always check your references and correct any misspelling or any other mistakes before producing a bibliography. If you spot any recurrent mistakes from a specific database, please contact the library.

References are downloaded incorrectly. What can I do?

Refer back to the database and check if the information provided in the record on the database is identical or differs from the exported reference on your RefWorks account. If they are identical but contain some mistake please refer to the previous question. If they are different (for example, you have selected a Conference Proceeding paper on the database and RefWorks classifies it a book), then the problem might lie with RefWorks and the filter they use for exporting references from this specific database. In that case, please report the problem to us: contact the library.

Can I access my RefWorks account once I have left UWE?


Your alumni status allows you free access to your references until September 2021, when our Refworks subscription ends. For details on how to access the Alumni Area of RefWorks please contact us.


If you are retiring from UWE Bristol, you have free access to your references until September 2021, when our Refworks subscription ends. If you are leaving UWE Bristol to work for another employer, you will lose access to your RefWorks account.

You can create a backup copy of your references before you leave or before September 2021 (whichever is earlier), which you can then upload to any subsequent reference management software that you use.

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