What is RefWorks?

RefWorks is software that allows you to import references from online databases, organize your references into folders according to your topics of interest or for particular assignments or projects, insert references in a variety of formats (e.g. MLA and APA) into the body of your research paper, and generate formatted reference pages. RefWorks is free to the Radford University community and available from any computer with Internet access.

Using RefWorks Off-Campus

When using RefWorks from off-campus you must be connected to the WebVPN client.  Refer to the articles on this Knowledge Base page to download the VPN free of charge and learn more about using the software. 

Creating an Account

To begin using RefWorks you must first create an account. A RefWorks account is separate from your standard RU account, as it is hosted by RefWorks, and not RU. You therefore will not use your normal RU username and password.

Guides and Tutorials

There are several guides and tutorials for RefWorks, including online Webinars:

Write-N-Cite Plug-In

There is a plug-in available for Microsoft Word, for both Mac and PC, which allows you to enter citations into your paper as a part of your workflow.


Write-N-Cite is a utility that allows users to run an abbreviated version of RefWorks in their word processor. This version of RefWorks displays Author, Title, and Year only, with a full view option available if needed.

With Write-N-Cite, you can cite references in a manuscript with the click of a button. The abbreviated version can be set to "Always on top" so that it stays in place as you are typing your manuscript and generating your bibliography. The utility installs a Write-N-Cite button on your desktop as well as an Add-in to your Word toolbar (Windows users only) and a menu option in Word, under Tools for launching Write-N-Cite.

Write-N-Cite also allows you to work on a paper and format a bibliography offline -- no internet connection needed. 


To download the plug-in simply

  1. Log-in to your RefWorks account
  2. From the TOOLS menu, select Write-N-Cite
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions for either Windows users or Mac users
  4. After you have installed the Write-N-Cite program, open it from within Word by clicking the toolbar icon or by selecting it from the Tools drop down menu (Windows users only). You can also launch the program from the Write-N-Cite icon on your desktop or by clicking on the Start menu and selecting RefWorks from All Programs. If you launch the program from the desktop icon or the Start menu, it automatically opens a copy of Word.