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(Click logo for access to Refworks)

RefWorks Frequently Asked Questions

What is RefWorks?

RefWorks is web-based bibliographic software package that enables you to:

  • Organize your research
  • Include citations while you write your paper
  • Build a bibliography in a variety of formats
  • Import references from many data sources
  • Create bibliographies in different formats (Word, RTF, HTML, etc.)

As a web-based program, RefWorks does not require any software to download and update, and you can access your personal account from any computer connected to the internet.

What it does

RefWorks simplifies the process of documenting sources in your paper by turning this: (sample information about a book in a library catalog)...

Author, etc.: Finkelman, Paul, 1949-
Title: Slavery and the founders : race and liberty in the age of Jefferson / Paul Finkelman.
Edition: 2nd ed.
Publisher: Armonk, N.Y. : M.E. Sharpe,
Date: c2001.

...into this (sample entry from a list of references, APA style):

Finkelman, P. (2001). Slavery and the founders: race and liberty in the age of
Jefferson (2nd ed.). Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe.

How do I start using RefWorks?

To begin using RefWorks, you must create an account through Dickinson College. Follow these instructions:

  1. Click on this link from any computer on campus.
  2. Click on "Sign Up for a New Account".
  3. Enter the appropriate information and click on "Create Account".

For a short video (less than 4 minutes) on how to access RefWorks and create a user account, click here. You can also download a pdf version of the video (with subtitles) here.

How can I learn to use RefWorks?

You can make an appointment with a librarian who will show you how to use RefWorks. Call the Circulation Desk at x1397 or email

There are also numerous online tutorials and help files provided by RefWorks. You may access these while logged in to RefWorks (look under the "Help" menu) or by clicking on a link below:

Quick Start Guide - the basics of how to use RefWorks.

RefWorks Fundamentals - a series of tutorials on getting started and performing basic functions.

RefWorks Tutorials - links to additional video tutorials about using RefWorks, including using its advanced features.

Help File - a detailed online guide that can be used while you are working with the product.

In addition, the Dickinson Library has compiled and answered a list of Frequently Asked Questions.