Refworks & Write-N-Cite


Refworks logo.jpg

RefWorks is a web-based citation management program that enables you to:

  • download, gather, and store references from databases and library catalogues automatically
  • format citations and bibliographies in seconds
  • connect to your RefWorks account anywhere there's web access
  • share your citations with other RefWorks users

RefShare is a module of RefWorks that enables you to:

  • share references with others at UBC, and globally with researchers who have internet access

UBC Library maintains a site licence to both RefWorks and RefShare. They are available for free to UBC students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

UBC RefWorks accounts and databases are stored on servers located in Canada.

Account Information

Log in to your Refworks Account

Login to RefWorks here for access both on and off campus. Uses EZproxy to authenticate UBC students, faculty, and staff.

Create a New Account

Create a free individual account (you can create more than one account).

Login to RefWorks here.

  1. On the RefWorks log-in page, choose Sign up for an Individual Account.
  2. Complete the New User Information form.
  3. Click Register, and start using RefWorks!
  4. You will receive a confirmation email with your log-in and password.


  • Do NOT create an account from the US refworks: site It is a 30-day trial account that will be deleted after 30 days.
  • Do NOT try to log in from the US RefWorks site as you will not be able to access your account.

Important: Please review the RefWorks Privacy Policy.


UBC-authenticated computers are required for off-campus access. You can authenticate with EZproxy or the UBC Group Code.


  • All students, faculty, and staff of UBC should access RefWorks from this page to authenticate using EZproxy.
  • Alumni do not have access to EZproxy, and should access RefWorks using the Group Code.

UBC Group Code

PLEASE NOTE: The group code may be changed once a year for security reasons.

Deleting an Account

Accounts that have been inactive for more than 2 years may be deleted by the UBC Library RefWorks administrators.

Maintaining Your Account When You Leave UBC

Alumni access

Graduates of UBC can create or maintain a RefWorks account as UBC alumni. Alumni have access to RefWorks, but not to subscription databases from the library. As well, the UBC eLink in RefWorks will not provide access to online full-text resources.

To maintain or create your current account as an alumni:

  1. Obtain a UBC Alumni ACard.
  2. Obtain your UBC Library card.
  3. Contact the UBC Library RefWorks listserve at to obtain the UBC Library group code, then create or access your RefWorks account using the group code to authenticate.

If you are joining another institution that has a RefWorks site license, you can move your database to a new account with that institution. Remember to backup your UBC account; you can then restore the citations to your new account.

Enter Citations

Adding Citations to your Refworks Database

There are many ways to add citations to your account.

View one of the online tutorials from the RefWorks YouTube channel, or read this Overview or Help pages within RefWorks to get started.

Selected tutorials include:

Adding References from UBC Library Catalogue and Summon

The current UBC Library catalogue does not support exporting citations to RefWorks. Please use one of the following options instead:

  • Search and download citations from the Library's catalogue from within RefWorks. Select University of British Columbia Library from the drop-down menu.
  • Use the Summon search interface to find records and download directly to RefWorks from Summon.

Storage Space

UBC RefWorks users have up to 5 GB of storage in RefWorks, and there is no limit on the number of references that can be stored. However, accounts larger than 1 GB, with more than 100 attachments, or more than 20,000 references may be very difficult or impossible to backup or move.

Use Citations / Write-N-Cite

Building Your Bibliography

There are four ways to use RefWorks to write your paper and format your bibliography. You can:

  1. Use Write-N-Cite to format your paper from within MS Word
  2. Use One Line/Cite View as an alternative to Write-N-Cite; it works with all word processors on any operating system
  3. Create a simple reference list (without in-text citations or footnotes)
  4. Create a formatted paper and bibliography using RefWorks

Using Write-N-Cite

Download Write-N-Cite 4 from the Tools menu in RefWorks. This video tutorial describes the installation process, and this tutorial shows how to use it from within Microsoft Word to create citations and bibliographies.

Using Write-N-Cite from off campus authenticating through EZproxy

To configure EZproxy for RefWorks' Write-N-Cite tool when working off campus follow these steps.

  • Download and install a copy of WNC after logging in to your RefWorks account (under Tools)
  • From the Start Menu select Programs then RefWorks.
  • Select the WNC Proxy Configuration Utility.
  • Enter the following URL in the box that pops up:
  • Do NOT press the Enter/Return key.
  • Ensure that there are NO BLANK SPACES on either side of the URL above.
  • Click OK
  • You should not need a Group Code in order to use Write-N-Cite. If, after following the instructions above, you are prompted for a Group Code, please follow this link to access the group code.
  • Download and install a copy of WNC after logging in to your RefWorks account (under Tools)
  • Delete the plist file.
  • Then activate Write-N-Cite.
  • Select Preferences from the Write-N-Cite menu .
  • Select the Proxy option and enter the Proxy Server URL:
  • Do NOT press the Enter/Return key.
  • Ensure that there are NO BLANK SPACES on either side of the URL above.
  • Restart Write-N-Cite for this proxy configuration to take effect
  • Please note that Write-N-Cite does NOT install to the MS Word Tools menu of a Mac; you may launch Write-n-Cite from your desktop instead.
  • You should not need a Group Code in order to use Write-N-Cite. If, after following the instructions above, you are prompted for a Group Code, please follow this link to access the group code.

Using One Line/Cite View

View this tutorial.

Creating a Simple Reference List

View this tutorial.

Modify a Citation Style

RefWorks allows you to choose from many traditional output styles such as APA, Chicago, Turabian, and MLA, as well as citation styles defined by particular journals. See the RefWorks complete list of Output Styles Supported.

To modify an existing output style, or create a new one, see the Using the Output Style Editor tutorials.

Share Citations / RefShare

Sharing Citations Using RefShare

RefShare is a module of RefWorks that allows users to share citations, folders, and databases with members of the UBC community, and globally with any researcher having Internet access.

Please note that attachments are not viewable through RefShare for purposes of copyright compliance.

Sharing Citations Using RefWorks

If you choose not to use RefShare to share folders, RefWorks also has other options for sharing your citations. See the Sharing References without RefShare section of RefWorks Help (found under Sharing Your References) for more information.

Collaborating with Researchers at Other Institutions Using RefWorks

Important Notice:

If you intend to make use of RefWorks in collaboration with researchers at institutions other than The University of British Columbia, it is required that such researchers:

  1. are members of an institution that has a RefWorks licence, AND
  2. are working on a collaborative research project with you, a researcher at The University of British Columbia.

Researchers at UBC are prohibited from sharing their UBC RefWorks account information with anyone who does not meet the criteria set forth in 1 and 2 above.

To share your UBC RefWorks account information as noted above, you will need to provide your RefWorks Log-in Name and Password as well as the UBC Group Code to the non-UBC researchers with whom you are collaborating.


Need more Help? Have questions about Refworks?

  1. For questions specific to RefWorks and UBC Library, email the UBC Library RefWorks team at We do our best to respond within 2 business days. Please include the following information in your email: Mac or PC, browser, operating system, details of the problem.
  2. For general RefWorks questions, email the RefWorks vendor support team at
  • In-person help is available by appointment from the Research Commons at Koerner Library.


What is the UBC Library Group Code? Follow this link.