• RefWorks Citation Manager
    Date Created:     Last Updated:     Article Number:  14147      

    The RefWorks Citation Manager (RCM) is a new Microsoft Word add-in for accessing, inserting and formatting citations, footnotes and bibliographies in your Word document, in your chosen output style. RCM uses the latest version of Microsoft’s add-in framework, which will eventually be available in version of Word running on all Microsoft’s supported platforms including Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android and the browser-based Office 365. As of the writing of this document, RCM is available on MacOS, Windows and iOS (iPad).

    NOTE: RCM runs on Office 2016 and later versions. On Windows you have the option of running either Write-N-Cite 4.3 or RCM on Office 2016. For MacOS (and iOS) you must install and run RCM.
    Any citations and/or bibliography that have been inserted by Write N Cite are not compatible with the RefWorks Citation Manager add-on. Adversely so, any citations and/or bibliography that have been inserted by the RefWorks Citation Manager are not compatible with Write N Cite. Citations will need to be re-inserted and the document updated with Write N Cite or the RefWorks Citation Manager.

    Unlike Write-N-Cite and previous-generation add-ins, RCM doesn’t need to be downloaded and installed as a separate tool. It is available through the Microsoft Store and can be installed directly from the Microsoft Word interface. The advantage of Microsoft’s new add-in model is that it allows the same add-in to run on every platform. Whenever we make a change to RCM—to add a new feature or to fix a bug—those changes are available simultaneously on every platform. By default, Office is set to automatically update your Microsoft Store add-ins whenever a new version becomes available.

    Another benefit of the Microsoft Store model is that it is “sandboxed,” meaning that add-ins can’t do malicious things to your system or access personal information (outside of your citations). Previous generation add-ins were, essentially, executable programs you installed on your computer. As such, they caused IT departments heartaches because they could have access to any data on your computer (or network). The new model only provides the add-in with access to the data in the particular word document you’ve inserted it into, and any web resources it needs to operate. As such, it’s viewed as a “much safer” tool by information technology professionals.

    Installing RefWorks Citation Manager

    To install RCM, start Microsoft Word, click on the INSERT tab and then click on the Store icon User-added image. Enter RefWorks into the search field, then click the magnifying glass icon (or hit ENTER). Click the Add button.

    Office add ins

    Once you have added RCM to your copy of Microsoft Word, you can insert RCM into a document by choosing it from the My Add-ins dropdown menu on the Insert tab. RCM is inserted on a “per-document” basis. Unlike previous add-ins which create their own tabs within Word, RCM creates a sidebar. You must explicitly insert RCM to each document you want to add citations to. In this fashion, RCM is available when you need it and stays out of your way when you don’t.

    Once you’ve have inserted RCM into your document, it appears as a sidebar on the right side of your document. If this is your first time using the add-in, you’ll be asked to log in to your RefWorks account. If you do not have a RefWorks account, you can sign up and receive access as long as you’re a member of a subscribing institution. Once you’ve logged in, you don’t need to log out unless you’re on a public computer.

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    Working with the RefWorks Citation Manager

    Once you are logged in, the RCM sidebar will look like the screenshot below, defaulting to All References view. Start writing and when you are ready to insert your first citation:

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    If you want to work with a specific folder of references, just click on “All References” to see your list of folders. Choose the folder with the references you need for your paper.

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    You can sort your references using the dropdown menu to arrange references by date added, by date accessed, by date published, by title or by author.

    You can also use the “search” option to search for specific references. The search option searches all fields.

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    You can start writing your paper and when you are ready to cite a reference in your paper, click on the citation and click the “cite this” button. The in-text citation will be inserted (using the last output style you used in RefWorks).

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    There is also a citation editing option. Click “Edit and Cite” to add or modify page numbers, hide the author name, or hide the publication year in your in-text citation (dependent upon the output style you are using). You will also see a preview of the in-text citation and your bibliography entry.

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    Continue to add citations and watch your bibliography update right in front of you. You can also add footnotes (make sure your output style supports them!) by using the footnote option using the radio button above or by choosing the “Format for footnotes” option from the “hamburger” menu in the upper right.

    As you write your paper and insert your citations, you’ll see your bibliography format in your document. Inserting additional citations will automatically update both your in-text citations and bibliography.

    Changing your output style:

    It’s easy to change the output style for your paper. In the RefWorks Citation Manager sidebar in your document, click on the “hamburger” menu icon   and select “Change citation style”

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    Deleting or changing citations

    Within your document, citations are inserted as separate “block” elements. When you click on them, you’ll see a bounding box that delimits the citation. To delete the citation, you must delete the bounding box.

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    1. Highlight the citation you wish to delete and use the backspace key or delete key to remove it.
    2. Insert the new citation (if applicable).
    3. Click on the “hamburger” icon   and select “Update document”.  Your document will refresh and the bibliography entry will be removed or updated (if you added a replacement citation).

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    Any additions, changes or deletions you make in your RefWorks account are automatically synched with the RefWorks Citation Manager add-in.

    NOTE: Changes are not made to any in-text citations or the bibliography in your document.


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