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Resources for UTSC undergraduate students taking one of the directed reading or directed research courses in physics.

What is Refworks?

RefWorks is a web-based citation and bibligraphy tool that is available to students, faculty, and staff at participating schools.
In Canada, most institutions subscribe to RefWorks through Scholars Portal.


RefWorks has a new, more intuitive look and feel. This guide will walk you through all of the basic functionalities RefWorks offers, as well as some new features and troubleshooting tips.

With RefWorks, you can:

  • Organize and create a personal online database of references
  • Format references for bibliographies and papers in a wide variety of styles (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.)
  • Import references to your RefWorks account from a variety of databases using the Direct Export feature offered by many databases, or using Import Filters included in your RefWorks account
  • Incorporate RSS feeds and import data from those feeds directly into RefWorks

Log-In to RefWorks now!

New to Refworks? Visit and click "Sign up for an Individual Account."

When working off campus, you will be asked for a RefWorks group code. The group code is emailed to you when you sign up for your account. 

If you no longer have that email, you should be able to find it through your library's website.

If you cannot find it, contact from your institutional email address.

Setting up a Refworks account

To sign up for a RefWorks account, visit the login page,
and click on "Sign up for an Individual Account":

If you are on-campus, RefWorks will detect which school you are associated with. If you are off-campus, you will need to have your school's group code to create an account. Many schools have their groupcode listed on their library website, either openly or behind a proxy. If you can't find your groupcode, email from your institutional account.

Fill in the required fields and submit your information. You will receive an e-mail confirmation with your username, password and group code, and should have access to your account right away. Save this e-mail in case you forget your password!

Help with Refworks

Write N Cite

Write N Cite allows you to insert references into your paper as you write, and then generate the appropriate bibliography at the end. For additional information on using Write N Cite please consult the Refworks 2.0 Libguide or contact the library.

Creating a quick bibliography

  1. From the menu, select Bibliography, then Create.

  2. A new window will pop up. Select which output style you'd like your references to formatted in (don't forget you can create your own modified output style to incorporate your personal notes). To create a list of references, click on the orange link, then decide which file format you'd like your references to be created in (i.e. HTML, text, Word for Windows, etc.). You can create a reference list of all the references in your account, or from particular folders. Hit Create Bibliography. Depending on the format you selected, you will either be prompted to download the reference list (i.e. Word format), or open the list in a new tab (i.e. HTML format).

  3. You can then modify this reference list in any way you like (i.e. make changes, copy and paste it at the end of a paper, etc.).

    Adding references

    You can add references to your RefWorks database from a number of sources, and in a number of different ways.

    Many journal databases offer direct export to RefWorks, some require a bit of a work-around, and occassionally there will be content that needs to be added manually.

    Look for a link that says Export or a Refworks button:  or 

    If you do not find either of these please consult the Refworks 2.0 Libguide or the library for additional information.

    Adding and displaying notes in your bibliography

    You may wish to add personal notes directly to a reference in your RefWorks account. Simply locate the reference in your account, and select the edit icon.

    A new window will pop up. Add your thoughts in the field called 'Personal Notes' (if you don't see this field, try looking under the Additional Fields area). Make the desired changes, then select Save Reference. 

    If you'd like to have these notes appear when you create your annotated bibliography, select Bibliography, then Output Style Editor. 

    Output Style Manager

    A lightbox will open. Select the style you wish to edit from the drop-down list (i.e. CSE 7th edition Name-Year sequence) and rename it. Then click Save.


    The box will reload, but this time with an Edit button at the bottom

    There are many editing options, so make sure you're devoting your time to the ones you need! Before you start making changes, check that you are editing the bibliography tab, the correct reference type (journal article in most cases), and the correct field(s) (abstract, personal notes, etc). 


    Under the Settings section you can modify settings such as citation order, grammar between citations, and indenting


    For each reference type, you can edit the contents, ordering, and grammar of a citation. To make citations easier to read for example, you may wish to proceed the personal notes field with \n so that it starts on a new line.

    output style editor


    Once you've made a change, you will have the option to preview your new style at the bottom.

    Saving your style will automatically add it to your favourites.