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HSC 304: Environmental Health: RefWorks

Get a RefWorks Account

RefWorks users are required to set up individual accounts with their emails to curate a personal database of citations and references.

When creating your account, start from the library's website to access RefWorks, then click "create account."


You will receive a confirmation email shortly thereafter. Once you have confirmed your email address, you will be asked for some basic information for your account and then you are ready to go! Once you graduate from Furman, you can still take your RefWorks account with you if you follow the alumni steps on this ProQuest guide.

Considerations for RefWorks

RefWorks is a citation manager and a citation manager is an intermediate to advanced-user discovery, documentation, and citation tool that requires extensive care in curation of source types in order for it to be robustly used.

Understand that RefWorks has two distinct uses, which informs the point-of-need instruction required at the time. First the building & organizing your personal library of sources feature (broadly referred to as RefWorks Online) during discovery and collaboration. This is the browser application. Second, the in-text citing and bibliography creating programs (referred to as RefWorks Citation Manager) for use with a word processor.

Before using RefWorks or requesting an instruction session, consider the following competencies and skills required for effective use of the software:

  • Importing citations of various document types and information sources into your account via .RIS files. If importing from a previous citation manager, there is another set of similar, yet different competencies.
  • Importing, storing, and reading actual documents (an article storage feature) via PDFs or Documents previously downloaded to your computer.
  • Identifying and Correcting information/metadata AI errors for uploaded sources and ensuring the metadata is complete for your preferred citation style.
  • Interpreting a citation.
  • Annotating and tagging imported sources, which includes annotation of the uploaded source as well as tagging items for searching later.
  • Organizing your resources at a project library level and then using folders and subfolders within a project. This includes de-duplication.
  • Sharing and collaborating via projects and folders, and understanding how the distinct caveats for sharing content affects your personal RefWorks library for citations.
    • Curating a final library requires copying all items from a shared folder to your personal RefWorks library.
    • Sharing a project/folders requires all members to have an account AND have the correct sharing permissions.
  • Determining the appropriate “add-ons” to install in order to use the in-text citation features and bibliography features of RefWorks.  This is based on your computer operating system (whether you use a PC or Mac) and the word processing software you use (Microsoft Word, Office 365 Word Online or Google Docs).
  • Installing appropriate “add-ons” and “bookmarklets" that maximize use of features.
  • Troubleshooting and seeking help for technical issues and questions related to operating systems, compatibility, etc.
  • Creating bibliographies/works cited from sources documented in your RefWorks library.
  • Verifying the correctness of your bibliography in style, punctuation, spelling, etc.

Ask a Librarian for Help Citing


Send a message anytime to

Come by the Research Assistance Desk on your right as you enter the James B. Duke Library right in the heart of campus.

Give us a call at (864) 294-2195

Send us a text message at (864) 214-7172


RefWorks Troubleshooting

Need help with RefWorks but the librarians are offline? Check out our Library "How Do I" pageRefWorks Troubleshooting libguide page, or the RefWorks website.