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RefWorks for Embase: Activity 4: RefWorks and Word

Activity 4: RefWorks and Word

  1. Carry out your search on Embase using the MeSH subject headings (or general in-text keywords if these are more helpful).  
  2. Select individual results, then tick the boxes by the items you wish to save, and select Export. 
    • In the pop-up box, select - RefWorks - Complete Citation to export to RefWorks.  You may need to "Click this link to open the document" in Embase to remove the pop-up blocker
  3. On the next screen, choose the newer RefWorks on the right - with the blue logo - to export results to your Last Imported folder in RefWorks
  4. You can then transfer these to a named folder - use "Assign to folder" (folder icon at top) and "Create" to name and set up a folder



For more information about exporting results to RefWorks, see the extra sections in this Guide, on FindIt, PubMed, Cochrane and Google Scholar.

Once you have organized your citations into a folder, you can use that folder to generate a formatted bibliography.  (You can also use the Quick Cite feature to generate the in-text citations for your text: this is also available via the speech mark icon / Create Bibliography referred to below).

1. Click on the RefWorks folder you want to use to generate your bibliography

2. If you want to use every reference in this folder for your bibliography, go on to the next step. If you want to use specific references, click the checkbox next to each reference you want to use.

3. Click on Create Bibliography and choose Create Bibliography in the pop-up.   


Screenshot of ticking boxes to select references and using create bibliography tab


Quick Cite will create the in-text citations (not the reference list).  NB: If you are using a numbering style such as Vancouver, you may need to do the in-text citations manually. 

4. Choose your citation style (eg Cite them Right Harvard, Vancouver) from the dropdown menu at the top, and watch as your bibliography is automatically changed to match. When you are happy, click Copy to Clipboard.


5. Then just go to Microsoft Word (or wherever you are writing your paper) and paste the bibliography in.

For more things you can do with RefWorks and Word, see "Using RefWorks with Word" in this guide. 

NB: Remember to Always Proofread RefWorks - in case of any small errors which may need correcting.

  • In RefWorks, you can always edit a reference: click on the reference within RefWorks, then on the pencil icon above the panel on the right with the reference details.  
  • Save the changes, and then re-run the steps above to create your bibliography. 


For a suite of videos on using RefWorks, see the supplier's YouTube Channel (Proquest / Ex Libris). 

Read the following instructions, then do the same, using your own references from your RefWorks account.

Add a Citation

Open a new document in Microsoft Word, and locate the RefWorks tab at the top.  RefWorks (Write n Cite) is pre-installed on the computer cluster PCs on campus.

Click on “Log In” and enter your RefWorks username and password.







Start writing your document.

To add your first citation, choose “Insert Citation” and then “Insert New.”





  • A window pops up allowing you to choose a RefWorks citation from your RefWorks folders.
  • Find the citation you want, either from a specific folder or by using the search bar and keywords at the top. 

  • On clicking OK, the citation is added to your document:













  • Once you insert a citation, it also gets added to a menu under the “Insert Citation” button so you can re-use it quickly.
  • Continue your document and add two or three more citations. 
  • Use the "Style" option at the top to confirm the referencing style you need to use: eg Cite them right Harvard, or Vancouver. 
  • Then go to the next section on "Creating a Bibliography".


Get the Write 'n Cite plugin
From within RefWorks, select the tools icon, then choose Tools from the resulting drop-down:


Scroll down the next screen to "Cite in Microsoft Word". 

Then: check against the Windows or MAC versions for the correct Write n Cite plugin to download. 

Cite in Word









Read the following instructions, then do the same, using your own references from your RefWorks account.

NB: ALWAYS proof-read any references generated by RefWorks - and make edits if required.  You can make changes to individual items within your RefWorks account, by opening up the details in the right-hand panel and using the pencil icon to go into the record itself.

Add a Bibliography (reference list)

  • You can insert a bibliography into your document by clicking “Bibliography Options” and “Insert Bibliography” in the drop-down menu. 


The bibliography is added to the document. It updates automatically, so every time you add a citation to the body of your text, the full citation appears in the bibliography, properly ordered:














At any time, you can change your citation style using the drop-down menu in "Style" in the RefWorks tab within Word. ​

  • Harvard (Cite them Right Harvard) and Vancouver are the two main styles in MDS.
  • The citations and bibliography in your document will automatically update.


The plugin also has advanced options for things like customizing your bibliography’s formatting or editing your citations. See the Help pages for more information and links. 

​Note: you can also generate bibliographies from within RefWorks itself, which can then be copied and pasted into a document.  See this other LibGuide and choose the tab "Creating a bibliography". 

MAC users.  

NB: there is currently (October 2019) a problem for MACBook users at University of Birmingham who also have Office 365 from the University site.  It is recommended that you use Quick Cite and Create Bibliography within RefWorks itself, and then copy and paste the resulting reference list (and possibly in-text citations) into Word. 

Follow the instructions in the Tools section of RefWorks:

  • Tools
  • then Tools again in the drop-down
  • then Cite in Microsoft Word - Other Windows and MAC versions.

NB: Write n Cite, although intended for pre-2016 versions of Word, should work with Word 2016 and be more reliable than the Add-in Citation Manager.

You may need to install Java software first, to enable Write n Cite to download fully to your MAC.

See the Apple website page; you may need the older legacy Java SE6. 

If you are unable to activate Write n Cite, or are having other problems with using RefWorks on your MAC, then contact : the support team will get back to help you. 

Then close down any open Word screens, before re-opening to allow the toolbar for RefWorks Write n Cite to be activated.  You may need to make toolbars visible to do so. 

RefWorks can also be used in conjunction with Google Docs to cite references directly in-text and create a bibliography (reference list) at the end of the Google Doc.

To install the add-on feature in Google Docs, go to the tools icon in RefWorks, then tools again.  Scroll down to the Cite in Google Docs section to follow instructions to "Get the add-on".

Tools icon                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Once installed, a panel should appear on the right of the Google Doc.  You can use this to select citations from your RefWorks account, insert these into your work and create a reference list (bibliography) at the end.  When you have finished your document, it can be downloaded as a Word document. 

For more information on using the RefWorks add-on within Google Docs, see this supplier video, which has subtitles on-screen (Proquest, 2019).  Google Docs are covered from around 4 minutes into the video. 


Proquest (2019) Writing with Refworks.  Available at: (Accessed 02 January 2020)




If in doubt, you can always use the manual entry option to create a record of a reference within RefWorks.

Select the + Add icon at the top left of the RefWorks screen and then "Create new reference". 

  • Note the other options to Upload document - especially PDFs you may have saved - or Import references in a file such as produced by PubMed or Cochrane

The following pop-up will produce a template of fields for you to enter details.  Choose the required format, eg Journal article, to bring up the required fields.

Enter details and save the results.


​If you encounter technical problems with RefWorks, perhaps in setting up on your laptop, or with something not working as it should, then either contact RefWorks Support directly (they wiil reply!) by selecting the question mark and drop-down in RefWorks:


​Contact the University IT Helpdesk 

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