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What is RefWorks?

RefWorks is an online research management, writing and collaboration tool designed to help researchers gather, organize, store and share information and to generate citations and bibliographies. There are two versions of Refworks available: Legacy Refworks and ProQuest Refworks.

Which Version of Refworks Should I Use?

Both versions allow you to easily manage your references. If you are working on a paper or a project, you can use either version. If you are working on a large-scale project (such as a systematic review) or are still unsure which version is right for you, here are some key features to keep in mind:

Legacy Refworks ProQuest Refworks  

 Recommended for systematic reviews or other major research projects                                             

 Can create more than one account to keep reference collections and project work separate

 Not compatible with Cite for Google Docs, but compatible with other writing tools (Write N Cite and RefWorks Citation Manager)

Recommended for new users with standard papers or projects                                

 Can't create more than one account, but can manage separate reference collections through Projects  

Compatible with all writing tool add-ons (Write N Cite, RefWorks Citation Manager, Cite for Google Docs)                                  

RefWorks Login

Alumni Access

Users will continue to have access to their ProQuest Refworks and Legacy Refworks accounts if their affiliation or role at the University of Alberta changes (e.g., graduation or retirement), as long as the university continues to maintain their subscription to the program.

Transitioning from Legacy to ProQuest Refworks

Choose from the following options for using ProQuest RefWorks:

  1. Are you an existing RefWorks user? This may be the case if you've created an RefWorks account prior to June 30, 2016. Old version of RefWorks is now referred to as Legacy RefWorks.
    • If you are using Write N Cite with MS Word to draft your paper/dissertation/thesis project, we recommend that you continue to use Legacy RefWorks until you are finished. 
    • If not, then create a new account using your email at You can maintain both Legacy and ProQuest RefWorks accounts in parallel. 
    • You can easily start moving references from Legacy RefWorks using the “Import References” function.
  2. Are you new to RefWorks? 

Activation Code

As of February 2019 ProQuest Refworks users may need an activation code at times. The link to the activation code is below:

Activation Code