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Citing Your Sources: 4. Sharing and Collaborating

Sharing your RefWorks Library Folders

RefWorks allows for sharing both within and outside your institution, however, each person you share your folders with will need a RefWorks account in order to view your research (which they can create for free!). You can share with up to 10 people per folder for free account holders or an unlimited number of RefWorks users if you have an Institutional account.

  1. Click the Share & Export icon  or the Sharing menu item to start.
Highlights the sharing options on the RefWorks browser as the "share tool" and in the side menu.
  1. Select the folder to be shared and the groups with whom you will share it. The number of items in the folder to be shared will be denoted in the parenthesis (#).


  1. Insure that "Only invited people may access" is the radio button checked.
  2. Type the email address of the person (add one at a time and separate emails with commas or semicolons) and select the level of access for the person you're inviting:
    • Read – view items and read documents
    • Annotate – view items, read documents, and annotate documents
    • Modify – view/read/annotate documents, edit existing annotations, add documents, remove documents, and add a note to an item


  1. Add a personal note (optional).
  2. Click Share Folder.

The person you've invited will get an email notification, and a notification inside RefWorks, where they can accept (or reject) the invitation. If the person doesn’t have a RefWorks account, they will be asked to create one.

Remember, when you share a folder any sub-folders are also shared.

Viewing a folder's shared status

To view which folders you have shared, look for the sharing icon next to the folder name under "my folders": 


For folders that have been shared with you from another person, you can find those folders under the "Sharing" drop-down and are indicated with the sharing icon:


Shared sources within these folders that are uploaded by a person other than yourself will also have the sharing icon next to those sources.

If you want these shared sources to appear as searchable or citeable using RefWorks Citation Manager (RCM), you must use click the radio box next to each shared source and then use the "assign to folder" function and assign those sources to one of your personal folders found in your "my folders" menu, NOT a shared folder. 

You can verify a source in your shared folder has been added to one of your personal folders or subfolders, because it will also be tagged for the sub-/folder you have moved that source to:

By selecting Sharing Settings from the "My Folders" menu, you can access the settings for your shared folder to modify them:


In the Sharing Settings the original sharer can:

  • Change the sharing from "private" to "institution" (which gives everyone in your institution access to your collection)
  • Change individual access levels at any time, even after inviting someone
  • Remove individuals from the folder by clicking the 'x Remove' to the right of each address in the list
  • Unshare the entire folder with all shared accounts by clicking "Unshare folder"


Note that when a folder is shared you cannot: 

  • De-duplicate the sources in a folder
  • Create any new sub-folders

If you want to do either of the above, you must unshare the folder first using the "unshare folder" button.

Ask a Librarian for Help Citing


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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