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RefWorks: Transitioning to a New Citation Management Program: ... to EndNote

RefWorks is a web-based tool that helps you collect all of your references into one place, and also offers the ability to easily insert them into your paper and format the bibliography or works cited list.

Making the Change EndNote - Step by Step

Transitioning to EndNote  --  Before Exporting 

Just a couple of things to think about prior to exporting your RefWorks library.

  1. Do you have folders?  If so, to keep the same structure, you will need to export the contents of each folder individually instead of exporting All References.  This means a few extra clicks, but not a big deal.
  2. Do you have attachments?  If so, they will not export at all.  If you have them saved somewhere - on your computer, a network drive, or elsewhere - then simply attach them from that location.  Otherwise, you will need to download them one-by-one from RefWorks and then they can be added to EndNotein a batch and EndNote will match and attach them to the existing record in EndNote.

Exporting - the Steps

Once logged in to RefWorks, and based on your decision in item #1 above, you can follow these steps for exporting your references either as All References or by folders.

  • Log in to your RefWorks account.
  • Select the folder to export or leave on All References.
  • Use the References tab and click Export.
  • Check for the right folder name or All References and the other setting should be "All in List."
  • The default "Bibliographic Software ..." is the right option.
  • Click on Export References.
  • If a new tab does not open, look for the "Completed" popup box in the lower right corner of the browser.
  • Then use the first "click here" link.
  • A new tab will open with all of your citations in a tagged text format (not so pretty to read).
  • Click on "Save Page As" (from either the File menu or from the right click menu).
  • Give the file a location & name.
  • The default type of .txt or text file is what you want.
  • Click on Save.

Go to EndNote (desktop)

  • Click on File.
  • Click on Import.
  • Click on File...



  • Import File box:  Click on Choose and navigate to where your RefWorks text file is and click Open.
  • Import Option box:  Click the drop-down triangle and select Tab Delimited.
  • Duplicates box:  Import All is fine for a brand new library, otherwise, make the choice that is right for your existing library.
  • Click on Import Button.



When you point EndNote to the folder of PDFs you have, it will match and attach the PDFs to an existing record.

  • Import Folder box:  Click Choose and navigate to your folder of PDFs.
    • Adjust the two settings as you want - do you have subfolders of PDFs?  I set it for a group set to get confirmation of the import of PDFs.
  • Import Option box:  PDF is it.
  • Duplicates box:  I suggest Import All.