VCU Libraries

Research Guides

Use RefWorks

In RefWorks

Are you using folders?

  • Yes - You will export folder by folder; otherwise you will lose your organizational structure
  • No - You will export All References (this is an automatic choice)

You may want to change any Generic Reference type to a more specific type, e.g., Journal Article Reference; Conference Proceedings Reference; Book, Whole Reference. To change:

Edit | Reference Type [make a selection] 

Best practice: Select a few of your more complicated references, e.g., video format, customized fields, personal notes and use them as a sample export. You will immediately see which fields transfer seamlessly into Mendeley and which ones will require editing.

To export:

  1. Select the references to be exported - the best choice is All in List
  2. Select References | Export | BibTeX - RefWorks ID
  3. A page will appear displaying a list of field codes followed by your references
  4. Select Save As. Some browsers will automatically save as a .txt file, others use a different extension. Change the filename to the folder name, and change the extension to .bib.

In Mendeley

  1. Create a folder, as necessary, in Mendeley for the references you are exporting
  2. Open the folder where you want the references to land 
  3. Select File | Import | BibTeX (*.bib) | [browse to file] | Open. Mendeley will deposit the references into the open folder.

Fields with no equivalent in Mendeley, e.g., Personal Notes, Author Address/Affiliation, Database, will not be transferred. You may add the information into an alternative field or into a note.

How to Retain Formatting in the RefWorks Personal Notes Field

Anything in the RefWorks Personal Notes field will not transfer to Mendeley. However, you can copy and past the Personal Notes content into the Mendeley Note field.

To retain the formatting of your Personal Note, e.g., paragraphs, bold, italics

  1. Select the reference in RefWorks; select EDIT; scroll to the Personal Notes field.
  2. COPY the text in RefWorks and PASTE it into a blank Word document.
  3. COPY the note in Word and PASTE it into Mendeley Note. The note will be as it was in RefWorks.

NOTE: If you copy the note directly off the RefWorks screen and paste it into Mendeley Note, formatting will be kept, but a large amount of extraneous HTML is included