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RefWorks Quick Start Guide: RefWorks Basics

Getting started with RefWorks


What is RefWorks?

RefWorks is a web-based tool that helps you manage citations, create bibliographies, and import references from databases. It can convert stored citations into formatted bibliographies. Formatting styles include APA, Chicago, and MLA.


You can connect to RefWorks from the list of library databases. To store your citations, you are required to register with the site. Creating an account is free.

  • Group Code: If you are prompted to login by first proving a subscriber group code, enter: RWUnWiMil

Alumni may access RefWorks via using the group code above. New alumni should change their account status to "Alumni" within RefWorks under Tools > Update User Information.

Importing Records

To transfer search results to your RefWorks account, you must use the export/save function provided by the search tool you are using.

  • Popup note: You may need to turn off any pop-up window blockers in your browser to do this.

Creating Formatted Bibliographies

To generate a reference list, use the Bibliography menu and select your desired output style.

Using Write-N-Cite from Off-Campus

In order to use Write-N-Cite from off-campus you will need to load the WNC Proxy Configuration Utility in RefWorks to route you to UWM Libraries proxy server. After running the utility, when you launch Write-N-Cite you will be directed to UWM Libraries proxy server to login rather than going directly to RefWorks.

Windows Users:

  1. From the Start Menu select Programs and RefWorks.
  2. Select the WNC Proxy Configuration Utility.
  3. Enter the Proxy Server URL:
  4. Click OK.

Mac Users:

  1. Activate Write-N-Cite.
  2. Select Preferences from the Write-N-Cite menu .
  3. Select the Proxy option and enter the Proxy Server URL:
  4. Restart Write-N-Cite for this proxy configuration to take effect.

Getting Help

The ProQuest RefWorks YouTube channel contains a wealth of information on using RefWorks.

An extensive RefWorks Quick Start Guide is also available for your convienence. Please refer to the RefWorks tutorial and RefWorks help pages for additional information on using RefWorks, and Ask a Librarian for more help with RefWorks.

See also the schedule of UWM Libraries workshops for a list of RefWorks information sessions.