Help with Library Research


Due to low use, a rising subscription cost, and the number of freely available citation and reference management tools, the library will cancel RefWorks when our current subscription ends April 30, 2021. We recommend that you move your citations from RefWorks to an open source citation manager such as Zotero or Mendeley. Any citations that are not migrated out of RefWorks will be inaccessible after this date.


How to move citations from RefWorks to Mendeley​

If you want to keep your folder structure, you will need to export each folder individually and create folders in Mendeley that replicate the folder name in RefWorks.

For best results export no more than 500 references at a time.

  • Log into your RefWorks account.
  • Click on the folder you want to export.

click on desired folder to export the contents

  • Go to the Share Tab and choose Export references

click share and then export references

  • Choose all references from the selected folder and BibTeX as the format, then click Export.

Open Mendeley DesktopChoose all references and BibTeX

 (After creating an account and downloaded Mendeley Desktop)

  • Click on the Add dropdown menu

Add dropdown add files

  • Choose Add Files
  • Find and select the file that you exported from RefWorks in your Downloads area as export.bib and click Open:

click downloads and find export.bib

Your files have been added to Mendeley. You can now create a folder and add these files to them.




Many thanks to the Dalhousie University Library for their guidance and to the Minnesota State University Library for their original RefWorks Migration library guide licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Migration Tips

General Tips:

  • If you need to maintain the folder structure from your RefWorks account, export the contents of each folder individually. (This may create duplicates in your new account.) Save each export with the name of the folder for easy identification.
  • PDFs and other attachments will not be exported. You must save those files and import them into your new account. Mendeley and Zotero will allow you to drag PDFs into your account, and will create references based on metadata attached to the PDF. Always check these to make sure the created reference is correct.
This guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License. Creative Commons License
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