Effective May 26, 2017 the University Library is cancelling RefWorks and there will be no access to RefWorks after that date.
This guide will help you prepare and plan for this transition. If you have any questions that are not addressed here, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you do not wish to preserve the references saved in your current RefWorks account, no further action is needed.
These tools allow you to organize a personal database of resources that you can use to create citations and bibliographies.
Reasons to choose Mendeley:
Your research content is primarily contained in PDF files: Mendeley has an integrated PDF viewer and can create citation records just from importing a PDF file. Mendeley has the strongest website and community platform.
Reasons to choose Zotero:
Your research content is diverse. Zotero can gather citation records for non-PDF content easily. Zotero's single-click capture works with more databases, catalogs, and websites than Mendeley's Web Importer. One drawback is that the web add-on decreases visibility within the browser.
|Cost||Free up to 2GB||Free up to 300MB|
|Access||Web & desktop||Web & desktop|
|Organize PDFs and other documents||Yes||Yes|
|Annotate / highlight PDFs||Yes||No|
|Extract data from PDFs||Yes||Yes|
|Creates formatted bibliographies, in-text citations, and footnotes||Yes||Yes|
|Share resources with others||Yes||Yes|
|Direct export from databases||Yes||Yes|
|Citation styles|| 16 styles installed
6,000+ can be added
|Mobile app||Yes: iOS and Android||Yes: iOS and Android|
The following questions and answers are designed to help you plan for transitioning from RefWorks to a new citation manager. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have that are not answered here.
The University Library will send a series of email messages to UMass Boston RefWorks users notifying them of this upcoming transition, with instructions to consult this guide and to contact us with any questions that are not addressed in this FAQ. The first all-user email will be sent in November 2016.
The University Library provides support for and recommends two free citation management systems: Mendeley and Zotero. Both of these options provide the same basic set of functions as RefWorks, but each has its own strengths, which may guide you toward choosing one or the other of them.
Yes. When we end our institutional subscription to RefWorks, you will lose access to your account and your citations. Prior to May 26, 2017, you will have to migrate your RefWorks contents to a different citation manager.
You may subscribe to RefWorks as an individual. Start by setting up a Free Trial for 30 days. You will need to move your references from your UMass Boston account to your individual subscription. Follow the instructions for Moving a RefWorks account to a new location.
If you would like help selecting a new citation manager, migrating your citations and PDFs from RefWorks to a new citation manager, and learning how your new citation manager works, you can schedule a consultation with a reference librarian.
Each recommended citation manager also has a robust set of online tutorials, documentation, and help guides:
And, as always, you are also welcome to Ask a Librarian for assistance.
We have downloadable handouts with instructions for migrating your citations and files from RefWorks to Mendeley or Zotero.
Legacy RefWorks does not have an automatic bulk PDF export option, each PDF needs to be downloaded individually. To transfer your PDFs from RefWorks to your new citation manager, display the citation record and click on the paperclip icon to download the PDF. You will need to upload the PDFs to your new citation manager and attach them to the new records.
ProQuest RefWorks does have an automatic bulk PDF export option. If you are using Legacy RefWorks, you need to migrate to a ProQuest RefWorks account. Then, you can sync your account with DropBox. Once your PDFs are in DropBox, you can download them to a zip folder.
For detailed instructions, see Save and Migrate pdfs from RefWorks.
Mendeley: You can upload a folder of PDFs and Mendeley will read the citation information for each readable PDF.
Zotero: PDFs must be uploaded one at a time.
If you want to transfer your folders from RefWorks into your new citation manager, you will have to recreate your folders and organizational structure in your new citation manager and export each RefWorks folder separately. In Zotero, folders are called Collections.
The Notes field in RefWorks will transfer to Mendeley as notes. Notes and other custom fields will become Extras in Zotero.
Personal Notes will not transfer directly from Legacy RefWorks, but they will from ProQuest RefWorks. If you want to save your Personal Notes, migrate your Legacy RefWorks account to a ProQuest RefWorks account. Personal Notes will merge with the Notes fields, which can be transferred into Mendeley or Zotero.
Custom fields will not import into Mendeley.
Yes, both Mendeley and Zotero link back to an item's full text:
Both Mendeley and Zotero can read BibTex and RIS files These file types are available from many of the library databases.
Yes, both Mendeley and Zotero have browser plug-ins which allow you to easily extract citation information from the UMBrella. In Mendeley you can install the Web Importer in Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari. Use Zotero for Firefox or the Zotero Bookmarklet in any browser.
Yes, you can export items from WorldCat through the Mendeley and Zotero browser plug-ins. In Mendeley you can install the Web Importer in Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari. Use Zotero for Firefox or the Zotero Bookmarklet in any browser.
To download citation information as a RIS file, click Cite/Export, then click Export to EndNote / Reference Manager. Save the file you wish to import into either Mendeley or Zotero, and follow the instructions from the migration guides for importing files.
Yes. You can access your references in either Mendeley or in Zotero from any computer:
Yes. If you have access to RefWorks through another university, you can transfer your account.
First, log into your UMass Boston RefWorks account and create a back-up of your RefWorks library. Then, create a new RefWorks account from your new institution. Use this new account to Restore from back-up you created of your UMass Boston account. For complete instructions, see the document Move RefWorks account to new institution.