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RefWorks is Here

Never the favorite part of any student’s research project, creating accurate and correctly formatted citations is still a critical part of scholarly communications and ethics.   Fortunately, to make the process less painful, Polk Library, with funds from the Student Technology Fee  program, purchased a new online citation management system for students and staff. RefWorks, a cloud-based application, is your new tool to create, save and organize citations. It generates in-text citations and bibliographies on the fly and even uses NetID for access. Polk Library selected this application to replace KnightCite as THE recommended citation tool.

RefWorks is unique in that users log in to access their bibliographic information, making it portable and convenient. Setting up an account is quick and easy. Users simply navigate to UW Oshkosh’s RefWorks page to log in with NetID and password. After filling in a simple form to create an account, the RefWorks interface is available and ready to use.

There are several unique methods for creating citations in RefWorks. First, similar to KnightCite, users can manually create citations by clicking the “New Reference” button and plugging in the corresponding information.


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A second method allows users to export a citation from databases like Academic Search Complete, JSTOR and others. When viewing a record for an article, these databases allow users to  “Export”  the dictation directly to RefWorks.

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Another method, called RefGrab-It, captures bibliographic information from web pages and imports the citation data into your RefWorks account. RefGrab-It is a browser plug-in, so it needs to be installed in Firefox or Internet Explorer. Installation instructions are listed on Polk Library’s “RefWorks Help” web page. After the “bookmarklet” is installed, it will appear in your browser’s toolbar.

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To use the plug-in, simply click the RefGrab-It button in the toolbar.  The plugin will create a citation information for the website itself and stores it in your RefWorks account. RefGrab-It can also identify other resources listed on that site and create citations for them. This is particularly helpful to capture another bibliography for future reference.



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Recording citations is just the beginning.  The RefWorks interface offers users a place to organize citations into labeled folders. Once entered, all sources are saved and accessible by logging in to RefWorks from any web-based computer. Creating a bibliography is just as easy as generating citations. The “Create Bibliography” button allows users to choose their preferred format (there are thousands to choose from!), file type and the folder of corresponding citations.

The mobility, efficiency and versatility of this new tool transforms a once-complicated process into a smooth ride for students and faculty alike. Check out RefWorks over winter break so you can start the spring semester with another critical academic tool at your disposal.


For more information on RefWorks, visit the links below.

Posted by:
Ranger, Joshua P on December 13, 2012
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