VCU Libraries

Research Guides

Use RefWorks

RefWorks Alumni Program - Ends August 31, 2018

Students, faculty, and staff who are accessing RefWorks through the RefWorks Alumni Program may continue to do so until August 31, 2018. The VCU Libraries subscription will expire on that date and your RefWorks account will no longer be available to you. You should plan now to move your references to another citation management tool.

Use the link below to access your RefWorks account via the Alumni Program. Your account login remains the same; only the link to access your account changes.

Alumni users of RefWorks are encouraged to move their references to Mendeley, Zotero, or EndNote. 

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., Zotero, Mendeley, 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.

Remember: You will no longer have access to your RefWorks account after August 31, 2018.

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.


If you are moving your references to another citation management tool, choose the Moving References to ... tab on this guide for the tool you will be using, i.e., Mendeley, Zotero, or EndNote.

If you are not sure what you will be using, but you want to keep your references, follow the instructions below.

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.