VCU Libraries

Research Guides

Use RefWorks

RefWorks Alumni Program

Students, faculty, and staff who leave VCU may continue to access RefWorks through the RefWorks Alumni Program. Use the link below [you may bookmark it if you wish]. Your account login remains the same; only the link to access your account changes.

Alumni Login Link

Changing Institutions or Reference Management Tool

There are two ways to save your references before you leave VCU:

  1. BACKUP / RESTORE - Choose this method when you will continue to use RefWorks at another institution.
  2. EXPORT - Choose this method when (1) you will use a different management tool, e.g., EndNote, to access your references; or (2) you want to save your references, but you are not certain how you will access them in the future.

Backup / Restore

1. Before you leave VCU, BACKUP your account:

Log into your RefWorks account


Follow the prompts

Save the file - DO NOT open this file.

NOTE: If your attachments total more than 200MB, they will not transfer. Save the attachments elsewhere, and then delete them from the RefWorks records. Backup will save your references complete with folders.

2. In your new RefWorks account, RESTORE your account:

Log into your empty RefWorks account


Follow the prompts to browse to the saved file

NOTE: Restore will import all your references and folders. Restore overwrites the account, so do not use Restore in an account that already has references.


Before you leave VCU, EXPORT your account:

Log into your RefWorks account


Follow the prompts to select all or some of your references and the format (format information;- click on the format name); select Bibliographic Software if you will be transferring your references to a different reference management program


Select all the text and either (1) SAVE AS a .txt file; OR (2) copy & paste into a document or notepad to save.

NOTE: This feature DOES NOT retain folder designations, so export folder by folder if you wish to keep the same organizational structure for your references.

If you are going to use Endnote, Mendeley, or Zotero, change the file type to .ris. To access your references, open the application that will read your saved file, e.g., EndNote, Excel, Word, etc., and import or copy/paste, as applicable.