Overview and Importing From a File

There are six ways to build your database in RefWorks:

We recommend that before you even start creating your database, spend some time thinking about how you want to organize your data. The two most convenient ways to find references quickly are searching and viewing folders. You might want to organize the data by creating folders for specific topics, assigning descriptors (keywords) to references as you add them to the database, or some combination of both. For example, you could create a folder for each class you are taking; e.g., Child Psychology and Business Management. In the first instance you would click on the folder name from the Quick Access Bar to find all references for a particular class (or click on the hyper-linked folder name displayed with a reference from your search results or in the Standard View). If you do not want to set up folders, you could use Child Psychology and Business Management as descriptors to organize the data. In this, you would select By Descriptor from the Search menu option where you can search and locate all references organized by descriptors.  

How you organize, to a large extent, depends on how large you expect the database to be. Using the example above, if you believe that your database will contain many references in both areas and include descriptors such as "training requirements" or "motivation" it is best to set up separate folders. By doing this, you can use Advanced Search to search for the specific descriptor "motivation" in the Child Psychology folder, avoiding any references to Business Management.

You could accomplish similar results by adding all of the terms to the descriptor field and creating a search by using "Boolean" connectors. The use of folders, however, adds another level to your search strategy. For details, see Advanced Search.

Importing From A File

RefWorks provides detailed import instructions for many data vendors, however, you may find a particular vendor RefWorks does not have import instructions for.  If RefWorks has an import filter built for that data vendor, then all you need to do is save the records in that format as a text file and follow the instructions below.  If you don't see an import filter in RefWorks, you can try to locate a "save" or "export" option in a more universal format, such as the RIS Format or Refer Format.  

Note:  RefWorks will store the last 10 import filters you have chosen for importing references at the top of the import filter drop-down for easy access.

To Import References From A Text File:

  1. From the References menu select Import.

  2. Select the Import Filter/Data Source that matches the data you saved.

    For example, if you saved references from a search you did in a ProQuest database, select ProQuest from the Data Source drop-down.

  3. Select the specific database from which you saved references. For example, if you searched the PsycInfo database, you would select ProQuest as your Import Filter/Data Source and PsycInfo as your Database.

    Some Import Filters have <Multiple Databases> as an option. With this option, it is possible to import data from searches you have performed across multiple databases from the same service. If available, multiple databases is always the first option in the Database list.

  4. To have the references import into a specific folder, select the folder from the Import into Folder drop-down. For example, if you want to keep all references together from several imports to edit later, you should create a folder for this purpose. See Using Folders to Organize Your References for information on how to create a folder.

    References are always imported into the Last Imported folder. References from the previous import are removed from this folder automatically.  They are still in your database  -- accessible in the  by selecting the Organize & Share Folders tab (or by clicking Not In Folders on the Quick Access Bar).  When you have completed an import, you can open the Last Imported Folder to globally edit or add data to the group before organizing them into folders.

  5. Select the text file you created when saving your search results.

    To help organize your data, you may want to create a separate folder on your computer under your My Documents folder called Download Results. If you always use this folder, it will be easy to find the appropriate file when importing.

  1. Click the Import button to import the data. Progress is shown by one * for each reference. The program tells you when the import is complete.

  2. View any importing errors by expanding the Import Log section of the import completion screen.

    The import process creates a log file containing information on the status of the import. The log file shows information about data that was not imported and data that was imported into the notes field. In general, if you used the correct Import Filter, the import brings in all of the information and places it in the appropriate fields for each reference type. For details on the log file, see Identifying Import Errors.

We recommend that you click View Last Imported to review the import and be sure the data is correct.

  1. You have the option to check for duplicate references among your newly imported references.  Click the Duplicate Checking Options link and select either exact or close match.  RefWorks will check your the newly imported references against your entire RefWorks database and will identify any duplicates.  You can delete duplicate references if desired.

  2. To attach files to newly imported references, click the View Last Imported button from the Import completion screen. Click on the edit icon edit.jpg for the reference you want to attach the file to.  Further instructions for attaching files is available here.