VCU Libraries

Research Guides

Use RefWorks

Methods of Sharing References

There are two ways of sharing your references: 

  1. Set up a shared account for the group, all of whom must be current VCU students or employees
  2. Use RefShare to share a folder or your entire database with others whether from VCU or not

Shared Account

Shared accounts can be very useful for group or collaborative projects when all the members are affiliated with VCU. One member of the group creates the account using an agreed-upon login name and password and his/her email account. All group members log into the account using that name and password.

Since all participants have full access to all functionality within the RefWorks account, the group may want to set ground rules regarding adding references, folder management, and deleting references.

Use EXPORT (select the RefWorks Tagged Format) and then IMPORT (select the RefWorks Tagged Format import filter) to move records between the shared account and the individual accounts of the group members.

VCU Libraries screens inactive accounts on an annual basis. Shared accounts are included in the screening process and are candidates for deletion after 1-2 years of inactivity, depending upon usage.


RefShare allows you to share a folder, or your entire database, with others, including those who do not have a RefWorks account and those outside of VCU. Usually what is shared is a folder, not the entire database. Viewers of your shared folder may read, print, generate a bibliography, or export the references, but they cannot add or modify references.

Sharing a Folder or Your Entire Database - Instructions from RefWorks Help

Note to faculty: The shared folder URL may be copied and pasted into Blackboard as a link. Be certain to select 'open link in new window' or the shared folder will not open.

A shared folder cannot exist independently of the originating account. VCU Libraries deletes inactive accounts on an annual basis. Any shared folders will disappear when your inactive account is deleted.